On behalf of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, Shakopee (Minn.) Mayor Bill Mars presented the Carnegie Medal to the family of Carnegie Hero Dmitriy A. Bondarenko, who was posthumously awarded, during a city council meeting held March 20, 2018.
Bondarenko, 39, died Aug. 10, 2016 while attempting to save a man from drowning in Panama City, Fla. The Shakopee resident and businessman was on a family vacation when a relative was swept from shore by a strong current. Bondarenko entered the surf and waded and swam toward the man. Bondarenko reached a point about 3 feet from him and told him to swim before he submerged and never resurfaced. His relative was able to swim out of the rip current and was brought to shore by another person equipped with a rescue tube.
“It’s totally in his character. He would do this naturally. It would flow out of him. He loved people,” said Natalia Sidorov, Bondarenko’s sister, in an online article.
Photo courtesy of the City of Shakopee.