Manrico Giampedroni was the last person to be rescued from Italy’s shipwrecked Costa Concordia after 36 hours and he said he pounded on a wall with a frying pan to alert rescuers.
Manrico Giampedroni, the ship’s purser, waited 36 hours before being rescued from the belly of the ship.
The man has been released from hospital in Grosseto, Italy, where he was treated for injuries.
Manrico Giampedroni, 57, described falling through a door into the ship’s restaurant as he tried to save passengers.
“I remember ending up in the Milan restaurant… A door opened suddenly and I fell in,” he said, describing being trapped in the room as tables and chairs moved in the water.
“To get the rescuers’ attention, I used a pan to make some noise. 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.”
The Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio on 13 January, when the captain deviated from his planned route and struck a reef, creating a huge gash.
Some 4,200 passengers and crew were on board when the vessel capsized. A total of 17 bodies have been recovered and 16 others are missing but presumed dead.
On Tuesday civil protection officials called off the search for the missing in the submerged part of the ship because of safety concerns.
But they added that the search would continue where possible in the sections of the ship above water, in the waters nearby and along the coastline.
The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest while his actions are being investigated.
Francesco Schettino is accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship before all passengers were evacuated. He denies the allegations.
Manrico Giampedroni said his experience had not put him off returning to work on cruise liners.
“As soon as I can, what I want more than anything, is to go back to work for Costa Cruises,” Manrico Giampedroni said.