POLICE OFFICER Carlos Calderon ,who died assisting two panicking swimmers last week, was awarded the Police Medal of Merit.
Calderon, aged 33, belonged to the National Police and was posted three months ago to Alcala de Guadaira (Sevilla).
He was off-duty and spending the day at the El Palmar beach in Vejer de la Frontera with his wife when he lost his life.
Hearing cries for help Calderon immediately went into the sea to help.
The swimmers – one Irish and another French – emerged unscathed from the treacherous currents, but Calderon was swept away.
His body was later found by Guardia Civil divers, 400 metres away.
The Director General of Police, Ignacio Cosido, praised Calderon’s heroism after paying his respects to the dead policeman’s family at police headquarters in Sevilla.
Alcala de Guadaira’s town hall declared a day of mourning and flags flew at half-mast.