Bulgaria Names Costa Concordia Hero 'Man the Year 2012'

January 23, 2013, Wednesday // 07:04
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Names Costa Concordia Hero 'Man the Year 2012'
Italian coastguard vessels pass by a section of the Costa Concordia cruise ship which lists at 80 degrees off the island of Giglio, Tuscany, northern Italy on January 14 2012, after she ran ground in the early hours. EPA/BG

Bulgarian cruise ship technician Petar Petrov, who saved hundreds of people aboard Costa Concordia cruise liner, has been named "Man of the Year 2012".

Standing ovations greeted the wife and son of the savior, who received Monday night at a ceremony at Inter Expo Center the award as he is currently working aboard Costa Voyager ship.

Petrov was a member of the crew of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, which capsized off the coast of Tuscany in Italy. He saved the lives of over 500 people.

"Every day I wake up with the feeling that I have done what I had to do, what I was obliged to do. I personally don't think that I deserve that award. This is the choice of the people. Every man would be happy to receive that award," Petrov told Darik radio on Wednesday in a phone interview.

In January 2012, the luxury Costa Concordia ship ran aground in shallows some 300 meters away from the Tuscany Giglio Island. This led to a capsizing of the large vessel, after a 70 meter hole formed in the body of the ship, filling it with water.

3 200 passengers and 1 023 crew members were on board at the time of the incident.

Risking his own life, the Bulgarian technician did six runs with a lifeboat which holds 150 people. He was one of the last three crew members that did not leave the ship until the coastguard officials told them they took control over the operation.

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