The shelf on which the 114,000-tonne vessel is so precariously sitting falls away to 70m of deep water.
The restart came as a mother of a five-year-old Italian girl who is among the missing pleaded for divers to keep on until they found her daughter. Young Dayana Arlotti was on board with her father, William Arlotti, who is also missing.
Susy Albertini pleaded on Italian TV: “Please continue to search for my child. Don’t stop. Bring her home as soon as possible.”
The death toll from the disaster currently stands at 11, with 21 still missing. Eight bodies have been pulled from the ship, while three are believed to have drowned trying to reach the shore.
Navy divers will plant explosive charges to blow holes in the ship’s hull and gain easier access. They hope to reach Deck Four, where there are meeting points for access to lifeboats. Five bodies have already been found on the deck, where the passengers must have drowned after becoming trapped as the boat tilted almost 90 degrees.
There are concerns about the thousands of tonnes of fuel onboard the ship leaking into the sea. But navy spokesman Alessandro Busonero said: “The rescue is the priority, the environmental issue comes second. Removing the fuel can only be done if it is not in competition with the search effort.”