Italian divers searching the wreckage of a grounded cruise liner have found the body of a woman wearing a life vest.
Scuba diving police also swam through the captain's cabin on the Costa Concordia to retrieve documents belonging to the man who allegedly abandoned the ship after it was gashed by a rocky reef off the Tuscan coast a week ago.
Hoping for a miracle - or at least the recovery of bodies from the underwater tomb - relatives of some of the 20 people still missing appealed to survivors of the tragedy to offer details which could help divers reach loved ones while it is still possible to search the luxury vessel.
The clock is ticking because the craft is perched precariously on a rocky ledge of seabed near Giglio island.
The death toll rose to at least 12 after a woman's body was extracted from a corridor near a muster point for evacuation by lifeboats in the rear of the vessel, Coast Guard commander Filippo Marini said. It was not immediately clear if the woman was a passenger or crew member. A Peruvian barmaid and several adult female passengers were among the 21 people listed as missing before the latest body was found.
Relatives of the barmaid and of an Indian crewman, along with two children of an elderly couple from Minnesota in the US who are among the missing, boarded a boat to view the wrecked Concordia, said a maritime official, Fabrizio Palombo. Family members threw flowers near the site while islanders standing on the rocky shore also cast bouquets on the water in a tribute to the victims.
Another Coast Guard official, Cosimo Nicastro, said the woman's body was found during a particularly risky inspection. "The corridor was very narrow, and the divers' lines risked snagging" on furniture and objects floating in the passageway, he said. To help the Coast Guard divers reach the area, Italian navy divers had preceded them, setting off charges to blast holes for easier entrance and exit.
Meanwhile, police divers, carrying out orders from prosecutors investigating Captain Francesco Schettino for suspected manslaughter and abandoning the ship, swam through the cold, dark waters to reach his cabin.
State TV and the Italian news agency Ansa reported that the divers located and removed his safe and two suitcases. His passport and several documents were also pulled out, state media said. Searchers inspecting the bridge also found a hard disc containing data of the voyage, Sky TG24 TV reported.
The effort to find survivors and bodies has postponed an operation to remove heavy fuel from the Concordia's tanks - specialised equipment has been standing by for days. Light fuel, apparently from machinery on the capsized ship, was spotted in nearby waters, authorities said. But Mr Nicastro said there was no indication that any of the nearly 500,000 gallons (2,200 metric tons) of heavy fuel oil has leaked from the ship's double-bottomed tanks, seen as a risk if the ship's position changes.