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Bulgarian sailor awarded for Concordia rescue

Petar Petrov made six lifeboat runs in deadly disaster

Bulgarian sailor awarded for Concordia rescue

(ANSA) - Sofia, October 2 - Bulgarian sailor Petar Petrov on Monday received the European Parliament's EU Citizen 2012 award for his role in evacuating passengers from the stricken Costa Concordia cruise liner in January. Petrov did six runs with a lifeboat between the wrecked ship and the small Tuscan island of Giglio, rescuing over 500 people. He only abandoned ship after the Coast Guard had assumed full control of the rescue operations. During the award ceremony in the Bulgarian parliament the sailor said he had "acted out of instinct" and that he did not "feel like a hero but like an ordinary citizen". The Costa Concordia capsized on January 13 after hitting a rock near Giglio island, killing 32 people in Italy's worst maritime disaster since the Second World War. Captain Francesco Schettino is being investigated on charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship and failing to communicate with maritime authorities in the crash. The commander was dubbed 'captain coward' in the international media after recordings of a conversation with Coast Guard suggested he refused orders to return to the ship after leaving before evacuation operations had been completed.

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