Swim hero: Retired Italian Olympic star rescues drowning newlywed who fell off inflatable unicorn
Magnini dived in after hearing cries for help to save Andrea Benedetto, who had reportedly been floating on an inflatable unicorn off the shore of Cala Sinzias beach, east of Cagliari, when he fell into the water.
Former world champion Magnini, 37, was faster than the rescue boat and held the head of the man above the water until lifeguards arrived.
"I just did what I had to. The bather was in a lot of trouble,” Magnini told Corriere dello Sport.
“He was quite frightened, he was really stuck and had swallowed some seawater.”
Magnini, a two-time world champion who won bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics as a member of Italy’s 4x200m freestyle relay team, was on vacation with his Italian TV celebrity girlfriend Giorgia Palmas when the incident happened.