Sutton hero who drowned saving a child awarded posthumous honour
A hero who died while saving a five-year-old girl from drowning has been awarded the order of courage, posthumously by the Bulgarian government.
Plamen Petkov, 32, of Westmoreland Drive, Sutton, drowned off West Wittering Beach on Saturday, May 27.
Bulgarian born Mr Petkov saw the girl being carried out by the tide on an inflatable when he swam to her rescue.
Mr Petkov’s funeral took place on Tuesday, June 12 at a private service at Sutton Cemetery attended by family and friends and the Bulgarian Ambassador, Konstantin Dimitrov.
Mr Petkov was awarded the Honourary Decoration, St George, by the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria. This represents the highest distinction awarded to a civilian for acts of self-sacrifice and courage.
In order to honour his memory and recognise his selfless act, Mr Petkov’s family have decided to support the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
Mr Petkov’s family have been touched by the fact that his heroic act has been so widely and internationally praised.
They are directing anyone touched by his bravery to support the RNLI in their efforts to make Britain’s beaches safer.
The family have posted a message on the fund’s website thanking everyone for their support.
"In these extremely difficult days, we want to use this unfortunate opportunity to stress our concern with the dangerous waters like those at West Wittering around the UK coast and are keen to call for additional positive safety measures to be put in place, such as stationed lifeguards, and to not just rely on signage in order to prevent future tragedies of a similar nature occurring again.
"We are looking at how we may support the local community in this area who share this concern in the hope that these changes might be an appropriate way of honouring Plamen's name and courageous act."
To support the fund visit rnli.tributefunds.com/fund or send a cheque with a covering note giving Plamen Petkov's name to: RNLI, West Quay Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1HZ (01202 663504).