A heroic purser survived for two days alone on the Costa Concordia after falling through a floor and breaking his leg while rescuing passengers.
Manrico Giampietroni, who was thought to have died in the accident after saving dozens of people, has now been praised for his "no surrender" attitude.
The 57-year-old's dramatic story is only emerging now as the media focus widens on from Captain Francesco Schettino.
According to reports in Italy, Giampietroni knew every part of the ill fated cruiser and cautiously scanned the upper deck, lower floors and cabins for survivors.
But during the search he fell through a hole and crashed through into a restaurant where he was stranded alone and with a broken leg.
As water rose to his chin, he climbed on a table and waited to be rescued.
Earlier in the night Giampietroni had spoken to his family on his mobile. "I am well, we are safe, I will let you know,” he told his mother Giovanna.
He then talked to his wife Laura, “We got the passengers on the lifeboats, I will get on the last one with the Captain” he told her before his battery died.
He continued to put passengers in lifeboats and refused to leave the sinking ship and later in the night, Giampetroni’s name appeared among the list of the missing.
His wife later told Messagero newspaper: “He never surrenders, he always solves everything.”
He remained stuck for two days until a rescuer found him.
"I never ceased to believe in salvation. I went through 36 hours of nightmare," said Giampetroni after his rescue.
Having worked for Costa since he was 18 years old, he started off as an engineer, only later becoming a ‘hotel director’ with the qualification of purser.
He is now described by an editorial of La Stampa as "the unique hero".
"I am all right, please don’t worry, I am alright," Giampetroni repeated to his rescuers.