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article imageCosta Concordia hero gets Bulgaria's '2012 Man of the Year' award

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 24, 2013 in World
The Bulgarian technician credited with saving hundreds of lives on the Costa Concordia has been named his country's 'Man of the Year'. The award was handed out Monday at the Inter Expo Center in Sofia and Petar Petrov's wife and son accepted it for him.
Petrov, working on another Costa Cruises liner, the Costa Voyager, and unable to attend the ceremony, operated lifeboats on Jan. 13, 2012 when the Costa Concordia went too close to the Italian island of Giglio in the Tuscan Bay and hit a reef. The ship listed over and partially sank. When the tragedy occurred, Petrov went to work and began ferrying people in a lifeboat to the safety of the shore 300 metres away.
Petrov: Costa Concordia lifesaver
Thirty-two people of the more than 4200 passengers and crew onboard lost their lives but it might have been worse. Petrov is credited with commanding six trips to the shore in the lifeboat that held 150; he kept going back for more until the Coast Guard took over and ordered him to evacuate. He was one of the final three crew members to leave the ship.
"Every day I wake up with the feeling that I have done what I had to do, what I was obliged to do," Petrov told a radio station in Sofia Wednesday. "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."
This is not the first award given out in relation to the tragedy of the Costa Concordia. In the Fall, 'Lloyd's List', a daily journal of shipping news from around the world which has been published continuously since the 18th century, gave the entire crew of the ship its 'Seafarer of the Year.' That award is given annually for bravery and courage on the seas.
The Costa Concordia today
The Costa Concordia still sits off the shore of Giglio. The ship is being refloated by Titan Salvage, an American company, and Micoperi, from Italy, who will tow it to a nearby port to be scrapped; they are months from completing the operation. The ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, has been charged with multiple offenses, including manslaughter and abandoning his ship.
When Petrov's wife and son accepted the 2012 Bulgarian 'Man of the Year' award on his behalf, they were given a standing ovation in his honor.
More about The Costa Concordia, petar petrov, costa cruises, Captain Francesco Schettino, island of giglio
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