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Family pay tribute to drowned West Wittering hero
2:21pm Wednesday 30th May 2012 in News
The family of a hero who died while saving a five-year-old girl from drowning at West Wittering have paid tribute to him.
Plamen Petkov, 32, drowned off the West Sussex beach on May 27.
Mr Petkov, of Sutton, Surrey, saw the girl being carried out by the tide when he swam to her rescue.
A family spokesperson said: "We are all incredibly sad to have lost such a special person from our lives but we are also immensely proud that Plamen was able to save the life of this young child.
"His display of concern for others was typical of the man we all knew and the way he lived his life.
"Plamen always made time to help others, and as a family we have all been touched by his kindness and generosity which he displayed each day.
"We are grateful for the messages of support from everyone Plamen came into contact with both in and out of work – he leaves a huge gap in our lives and will be missed by us all.
"We would like to thank his friend and the woman for the huge effort they made to try to save Plamen’s life and to people for the kind comments made about Plamen and his part in returning the child safely to the shore.
"In response to the many people who have been moved by his brave act, the family would like to release his name and picture to be commemorated. We also appreciate suggestions to award Plamen with a posthumous honour for his actions.
"In these extremely difficult days, Plamen’s family want to use this unfortunate opportunity to stress their concern with the dangerous waters like those at West Wittering around the UK coast and are keen to call for additional positive safety measures to be put in place, such as stationed lifeguards, and to not just rely on signage in order to prevent future tragedies of a similar nature occurring again."