Swimming ban at many Bulgarian beaches because of turbulent sea

Swimming was banned at many beaches on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast on August 24 because of turbulent seas, reports from coastal holiday resorts said.

After Bulgaria’s unseasonably rainy July 2018, August is seeing seas much more turbulent than usual.

According to Bulgarian media reports, for several days the pattern at Varna’s beaches was for the yellow flag – which allows bathing but restricts the use of recreational flotation devices – to be up until about noon, but in the afternoons seas became choppy and the red flag was raised, banning swimming.

At Bulgaria’s beaches in August, there is usually a dangerous phenomenon, locally called “dead currents” that can imperil swimmers and which, over the years, have been blamed for several drownings as the currents pull swimmers into difficulty.

Lifesavers strongly advised holidaymakers to comply with the flag warnings. People may be confident in their ability to swim, but would still be in deep – and potentially fatal – trouble if caught by a “dead current”. Lifeguards said that people beginning to get into difficulty should not be embarrassed to signal for help.

One way to recognise the possible presence of “dead currents” is by the sound of the waves. The stronger the sound, the more dangerous the sea.

Reports said that the quieting of the seas that would be the pattern of the 72 hours following August 24 would create conditions likely to produce “dead currents”.

Bulgarian National Television quoted senior lifeguard Vesselin Iliev as saying that someone caught in a “dead current” should not panic but should lie horizontally on the surface of the water, because waves would take that layer to the shore.

The turbulent waters of the Bulgarian Black Sea of August 2018 have become part of one of the major stories of the season at the seaside, hampering efforts to begin the draining of the tanks of the Mopang, the US merchant vessel that sank in 1921, and from which there have been leaks of heavy fuel oil in recent weeks.

(Photos, of Bulgaria’s Black Sea in August 2018: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292