Bulgarian-British Hero Immediately Risked Life to Save Kid - Witnesses
32-year-old Bulgarian man Plamen Petkov, who drowned saving the life of a four-year-old British kid, showed no hesitation to risk his life for the child, according to witnesses.
Petkov, a resident of Sutton, Surrey, UK, perished on May 27, 2012, saving the life of a British child on the beach at West Wittering, West Sussex.
The man has been UK citizen since 2005, according to information released by the UK police authorities, which comes from a statement that his parents made for the British police. At their request, however, the police will release no information about them, about Petkov's girlfriend, or about what part of Bulgaria they come from, and when they immigrated to Britain.
According to latest information, he was at the beach with his girlfriend, also Bulgarian. He plunged into the water when after they heard the screams of the mother of a four-year-old girl being swept out to sea in an inflatable swim ring.
He managed to pass the child to other beachgoers but was dragged under just five yards from the shore by powerful currents and drowned. Lifeguards' efforts to revive the man were in vain.
The British media widely cite witnesses of the incident as declaring that Petkov did not hesitate for a second when he jumped in the water to save the drowning child.
Even though the beach was filled with people, it was Petkov who was the first who managed to react. He jumped in the water followed by his girlfriend and another woman. He managed to remove the kid from the inflatable swim ring, and kept her above his head.
However, he was sucked by the underwater current. The man managed to pass the kid to his girlfriend, who attempted to hold on to both him, and the child until the arrival of the other woman, witness accounts say.
The second woman managed to bring the child to the shore, while Petkov was pulled out by his girlfriend but was already unconscious by that time.
A medial emergency unit arrived 40 minutes later by helicopter but failed to resuscitate the hero.
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