Bulgarian President Rossen Pleveneliev has awarded seven people with the country’s medal for courage, for actions undertaken to save others’ lives. Four of them were honoured posthumously.
Dimitar Lambov and Ivan Bozhanov were awarded the medal for their efforts to save a nine-year-old from drowning at the Arapya beach in July 2009. Petar Todorov and Hristo Stefanov saved two children from drowning near Sinemorets resort on the Black Sea in July 2012. All four died in the process.
“We honour their memory. Their example gives us hope and will not be forgotten. They taught us all a lesson in dignity and showed the highest degree of humanity and self-sacrifice,” Plevneliev said at a ceremony on January 31. The medals were presented to the relatives of the four men.
Plevneliev awarded the same honour on Petar Petrov, first mechanic of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which crashed into a reef off the coast of Italy on January 13 2012. Petrov made six trips in a small life-boat to the shore, bringing to safety more than 500 people out of 4200 stranded on the ship, and was among the recipients of the European Citizen of the Year award last year.
“Petar Petrov has made all of Europe speak with pride about Bulgaria and Bulgarian and has deservedly received European Parliament’s recognition as a European Citizen of the Year,” Plevneliev said.
Two more men, Atanas Atanassov and Atanas Georgiev were honoured for their actions to save lives during the floods in the Haskovo region of Bulgaria in February 2012.