Greek sergeant decorated for rescuing 20 migrants

After shipwreck off Rhodes

29 April, 11:44

    Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos honored with a grand cross of excellency Antonis Deligiorgis, a heroic army sergeant who saved the lives of over 20 migrants following a recent shipwreck off Rhodes Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos honored with a grand cross of excellency Antonis Deligiorgis, a heroic army sergeant who saved the lives of over 20 migrants following a recent shipwreck off Rhodes

    ATHENS - The photo that shows him carrying a young Eritrean woman on his back has been seen around the world.

    It is for the saving of over 20 migrants in a deadly shipwreck off the island of Rhodes that Defense Minister Panos Kammenos on Monday awarded the Cross of Excellency to an army sergeant. Photos showing Antonis Deligiorgis saving men, women and children made it into the front pages of many international newspapers, including the New York Times and the Guardian. It was the one of him lifting onto his shoulders the young Eritrean Wegasi Nebiat that became best known, however. Other people that the officer saved include the pregnant 26-year-old Eritrean Elizabeth Abraha.

    Deligiorgis was on the beach when the shipwreck occurred and jumped into the water to help the 90 migrants from Syria and Eritrea. Other beach-goers followed his lead. Three of those onboard - a man, a woman and a child - died of drowning. A few days after the shipwreck, Abraha have birth to a baby boy in the Rhodes hospital and has said she will call it Antonis in honor of her rescuer. Before going to Athens to receive the award, Deligiorgis visited the mother and newborn in the hospital. ''She was very emotional because of all the support she has received,'' said lawyer Kalliope Papapavlou, head of a human rights committee at the island's bar association, which is assisting her after the birth.

    ''(Deligiorgis) was also very emotional at their meeting. He came to the hospital with roses.'' (ANSAmed).

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