There are sufficient trained lifesavers to be on duty at Bulgaria’s beaches and swimming pools in summer 2018, according to Anton Albantov, director of the Bulgarian Red Cross’s water rescue service.
Speaking to Bulgarian National Television on June 6, Albantov said that for beaches, about 1300 lifesavers were needed, and 2000 for swimming pools.
The service trained about 1000 to 1200 lifesavers every year, he said. In the past 10 years, just for beach rescue alone, more than 4500 lifesavers had been trained. For pools, the number was more than double that, Albantov said.
The second-largest leading cause of accidental death in Bulgaria, after road fatalities, is drowning.
In 2017, a total of 106 people died in Bulgaria’s waters, more often inland than at the beaches.
Albantov said that the largest group of fatalities was people aged 50 to 65. Often, the deaths were not drowning as such, but strokes or heart attacks brought out by going swimming after consuming alcohol or lying in the sun for a prolonged length of time and then suddenly immersing in cool water.
He said that in recent years, there had been an increase in young people interested in being trained to be lifesavers.
(Photos: Bulgarian Red Cross)