site.btaWater Rescuers at Bulgarian Red Cross Saved 4,853 People from Drowning in 2022
The water rescuers of the Bulgarian Red Cross (BRC) saved 4,853 people from drowning in 2022, the Water Rescue Service (WRC) Director, Anton Nalbantov, told journalists on Wednesday. Last year, the number of drowned was 78 (10 children), of which 24 drowned in the sea and the rest - in inland waters.
Bulgaria ranked among the countries in the world with low levels of water traumatism in 2022 - 1.2 per 100,000 people, said National Water Rescue Commission member Stoyan Andonov. According to him, 20 years ago 200-250 drownings per year were reported, with the percentage of children being one third.
A total of 20 people have drowned since the beginning of this year until June 1 - two of them in the sea and the rest in inland waters. Most drownings have been in a river. No children have drowned so far, Nalbantov stated. “The children who have drowned in recent years are mainly from the Roma community, so we have organized training for children and adults in it, with the help of mediators,” the WRC Director added.
A total of 390 rescuers have been trained by the WRC since the start of the year.
The main causes of fatal accidents are unsafe inland water bodies, low swimming and water-saving culture, non-observance of water safety rules.
The Water Safety Week in 2023 will be marked on June 5-11. “Our aim is to raise awareness of the topic of water traumatism among children and parents at the beginning of the season,” Nalbantov explained. “The main goal is prevention. It is important that we start this season with good results,” he added.
The number of trained water rescuers last year was nearly 900, Nalbantov pointed out. “We are doing our best for a good partnership with the concessionaires of the beaches,” he noted and expressed belief that the season will be secured with enough lifeguards.