Italian authorities have given the go-ahead to start the $796 million removal of the Costa Concordia.

The process will start today at 6.00 am local time and is expected to take more than 12-hours to complete.

The operation will require rescue headquarters to rotate the 114,500-ton ship and drain the side currently underwater. Once righted, it will rest on underwater platforms and will be towed to Italy’s shore before being broken up.

Head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, Franco Gabrielli, said they only have one shot to get it right, Bloomberg reported.

He said: “There is no plan B”.

The success of today’s procedure is highly dependent on the weather and the motion of the sea.

Mr Gabrielli added that while there is little chance of the vessel breaking up during the rotation, there is the risk of liquids flowing from the wreck.

The ship has been sitting half underwater off the Italian island, Giglio, since January last year after it crashed into nearby rocks.

The final destination of the Concordia is still to be determined, according to Mr Gabrielli, although a number of Italian ports are interested in scrapping the ship.