As the saying goes, “one, who saves a life, saves an entire world.” That being true, a Romanian firefighter and diver vacationing in Bulgaria, at the shore of the Black Sea had saved two lives at once from the deadly embrace of the waves. The news of the heroic act had spread fast, and Cornel Uţă, who is a sergeant-major of the Bucureşti-Ilfov county emergency rescue services (ISU) was welcomed on Sunday at the Romanian border at the Giurgiu checkpoint with applause, flowers and a diploma of merit by the border guards. “Our colleague did not hesitate to save two people at once from drowning, putting his own life at risk” – one of the officers of the checkpoint told media.
According to the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the diver-firefighter was on leave on the Bulgaria seaside with his girlfriend, to celebrate their 4th anniversary. They were headed back to the hotel from the beack when Uţă saw two people were struggling in the water, in danger of drowning. The red flag was already on, warning of intense waves – nevertheless, he ran and swam as fast as he could to reach them.
“I kept telling myself that I had to last for two-three minutes, as the lifeguards will surely follow me. I knew that these two minutes were vital for keeping those people alive. I managed to get to them relatively fast, even though the waves were big. Thankfully, the two men were close to each other, and I could swim under them, grab both of them and start pushing towards the shore. The younger man was already unconscious, but I had felt that he would live” – narrated Uţă. The struggle was hard, but they managed to approach the shore, and a lifeguard also reached them. “At that point I knew that we will all make it” – said the courageous rescuer. The younger man was reanimated on the shore.
As it turned out, the two men were uncle and nephew, and also Romanian citizens. As the uncle emphasized in his declaration, when “he had felt the hands of their savior, he knew that it was help sent by God.”
Uţă has been a firefighter for eleven years. He comes from a family of aviators. One year after joined ISU, his brother, an acrobatic pilot had crashed with his plane in front of him. He was the first trying to help, but he could not save him. As the Ministry of Internal Affairs pointed out, his heroic act in Bulgaria was not a singular one: some time ago he was driving his car, heading from Marosvásárhely (Târgu-Mureş) to Bucureşti, when a car hit a cyclist in front of him. He got out and kept the victim alive until paramedics arrived.
Title image: The courageous rescuer was welcomed by the officers of the Giurgiu checkpoint