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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---Lauren Moore, a Bowling Green native, is one of five friends who was onboard the Costa Concordia last year when the ship struck rocks, tipped over, and submerged.
The disaster happened on Jan. 13, 2012 off the coast of Tuscany.
More than 4,000 people scrambled to safety, including 29-year-old Lauren Moore.
"It's not easy for me to forget," Moore said. "I remember the sounds of the screaming. I remember the feeling of the boat going over on its side."
Lauren and her friends had only been on-board a couple hours when disaster struck.
They managed to make it off the ship as chaos erupted.
"People being shoved, people screaming, people fighting each other for a spot to save their life," Moore said. "My friend and I grabbed hands and we never let go of each other until we were safe on land."
Two days later, it was an emotional reunion as the friends returned home to Kentucky.
"If I think about it correctly, I think we were the first Americans back," Moore said.
For the last year, Moore says she has thought of the tragedy daily, and the 32 people that didn't survive.
"And it may take a very long time for a day to pass where I don't think about it," said Moore.
She and her friends elected not to sue, because they would have to go back to Italy.
The cruise line eventually covered the cost she paid for the cruise, and an extra money to compensate what she went through.
While it's a day she will forever remember, as the upcoming anniversary approaches she's just trying to focus on how far she's come.
"I do use the word 'celebrate,' because I'm here," Moore said. "I could not be here. I think I may toast to life this year because we're here, and I'm here to celebrate life."
Meanwhile, charges of negligent manslaughter against the ship's captain are still pending.
He was accused of deviating the ship from its regular course.
As for the Costa Concordia, crews are still working to remove it from the water.