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Concordia officer saved by frying pan

The last person to be found alive on the wrecked Costa Concordia has revealed how he banged on the inside of the ship with a frying pan to attract attention.

Alerted by the noise, rescuers dragged Manrico Giampedroni, the ship's purser, from the stricken vessel 36 hours after it crashed on rocks near the island of Giglio.

After his release from hospital in Grosseto yesterday, he explained how he managed to save passengers and finally, after becoming trapped in the vessel, himself.

"I remember ending up in the Milan restaurant... A door opened suddenly and I fell in," he told the BBC, describing how he was blocked in a room with tables and chairs moving in the water. "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."

It was widely reported by surviving passengers how Mr Giampedroni stayed behind to help people into the lifeboats, before he fell and broke his leg when the vessel listed.

After the disaster on 13 January, a delayed decision to abandon ship is thought to have caused most, or all, of the 32 deaths. The 17th body found in the wreck has been identified as German woman, Siglinde Stumpf. Fifteen people remain unaccounted for.

Rescue efforts have been called off due to fears the vessel may slide deeper in the sea. This will allow salvagers to begin removing 2,380 tonnes of fuel.