A MAN who drowned saving a five-year-old girl from being swept out to sea has been given a posthumous award.
Plamen Petkov, of Sutton, south London, died after saving the child off West Wittering beach in West Sussex.
Mr Petkov, 32, who was a British citizen of Bulgarian origin, has been posthumously awarded the highest civilian Bulgarian distinction – the Honorary Decoration of St George.
His family has set up an RNLI fund in his name.
Mr Petkov dived into the water after he and a friend spotted a mother shouting for help because her daughter was adrift on an inflatable ring.
He reached the girl but after passing her to a woman who also entered the sea, he was dragged underwater by strong currents and was later pronounced dead on May 26.