Aussies missing from ship call home

AN Australian couple reported missing after a cruise ship ran aground off the Italian coast were able to board one of the last lifeboats to leave the ship, their parents say.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) said on Sunday it had confirmed the safety of the 23 Australians who were aboard the Costa Concordia when it hit a reef near Isola del Giglio late on Friday night (local time).

Consular officials had been unable to contact the remaining two Australians but they both made contact with their families after they were taken off the listing ship. 

Three of the 4,200 passengers have been confirmed dead, 30 were injured and dozens remained unaccounted for.

The ABC reported the couple, Grant and Tessa Strickland from Newcastle, were celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary aboard the ship.

Read more on the Brisbane Times.