Sutton hero who drowned saving child receives Queen's award
A hero who drowned while saving a little girl has received a posthumous award from the Queen.
Plamen Petkov, 32, an electrician from Sutton, has been given the Queen’s gallantry medal - awarded for high order acts bravery.
Bulgarian born Plamen gave no thought to his own safety when he leapt into the sea to rescue five-year-old Darleen Myint on West Wittering Beach on Saturday, May 26, 2012.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have also written to the Bulgarian Government to make them aware of the award.
Civilians who are awarded the Queen’s gallantry medal are invited to an investiture at Buckingham Palace to receive their medal.
The scene on West Wittering Beach, Saturday, May 26, 2012
Mr Petkov’s mother, Antoaneta Petkova, 57, from Sutton, will be invited to receive the medal on his behalf.
She said: “It is amazing but I can imagine there will be a mix of feelings in me – pride and sadness at the same time.
“It is still an absolute honour to receive that award on behalf of Plamen. I’m speechless.
“I’m very grateful for all the things they have said about Plamen and his act of bravery.
“[Our family] just try to carry on with life. It is very traumatic and difficult to address. The gap that’s left – nothing can fill it.”
Antoaneta and Plamen
Jonathan Allen, the British ambassador to Bulgaria, said: “Many people were on the beach on the West Wittering on that sunny day in May, but only Plamen Petkov responded to the pleas of the distraught mother and found the inner strength to jump into the treacherous waters.
“His indomitable courage and complete disregard for his own safety saved the life of the little girl, but unfortunately resulted in his own demise.
“Plamen Petkov’s noble act moved deeply the British people and the coroner’s officer that dealt with the matter attested to his bravery saying that in her five years on the job that was ‘the most unselfish act she had seen’.
“No words will ever be truly worthy of this deed. And no honour can ever fully repay Plamen Petkov’s sacrifice. But on days such as this we can pay tribute and we can express our gratitude that there are people like him.
“Plamen Petkov is a true Bulgarian hero. The United Kingdom honours his heroism and his sacrifice.”
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