EP Recognizes Bulgarian Costa Concordia Hero
Bulgarian cruise ship technician Petar Petrov is among the 37 European Union citizens designated with the European Citizen's Prize.
Petrov was a member of the crew of the the Costa Concordia cruise liner, which capsized off the coast of Tuscany in Italy. He saved the lives of over 500 people.
In January, 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.
The European Citizen's Prize was launched by the Parliament in 2008 to recognise exceptional achievements by Europeans. In 2011, MEPs put forward 61 candidates from 19 member states.
The national juries in those countries then had to compile shortlists. A central jury in Brussels, headed by Parliament president Martin Schulz, has selected the 37 winners.
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