Costa Concordia: Manrico Giampedroni, Trapped Officer, Banged Pans To Alert Rescuers
The last person to be rescued from the Costa Concordia shipwreck is sharing the details of his dramatic rescue, telling reporters he caught the attention of search crews by banging pans on the walls of the submerged restaurant where he had been trapped for 36 hours, the BBC reports.
"To get the rescuers' attention, I used a pan to make some noise," Manrico Giampedroni told the BBC. "From the windows, I could see the rescue teams and I tried to scream. When I saw the first fireman I embraced him. Those guys were incredible. In three hours I was out of there."
Giampedroni, 57, was a senior crew member on the Costa Concordia, reportedly working as a purser and cabin service director. When the Italian cruiseliner ran aground on Jan. 13, he stayed behind to help passengers into lifeboats. But Giampedroni ended up falling 20 feet into a semi-submerged restaurant, where he became trapped as water rushed in, the Daily Mail reports.
The fall caused Giampedroni to break his left leg in two places, according to The Telegraph. But he was able to remain above the water line for some time by balancing on his good leg "like a flamingo" atop some floating tables and chairs.
"I managed to find a panino and a Coca-Cola that were floating in the water. I grabbed them, so I had something to eat at least. I also sipped from a bottle of Cognac, for the first time in my life," Giampedroni told The Telegraph.
Luckily, with the help of some frying pans, Giampedroni was discovered by rescuers and airlifted to a hospital in Grosseto, Italy, where he was treated for injuries and released.
Despite his horrific ordeal with the cruise line, Giampedroni said he has no plans to change careers.
"As soon as I can, what I want more than anything, is to go back to work for Costa Cruises," Giampedroni told the BBC.