Water Life Saving Service was established in 1964 to serve as a humanitarian organization unit which will unify, coordinate and lead the activities of various institutions involved with saving human life in water accidents.
Water Life Saving Service (WLSS) has been a member of the International Life Saving Federation since 1966 and has representatives in the Leadership of the Federation.Through the efforts of the WLSS Bulgaria became one of the few countries to have legal regulations regarding water life saving.Annually WLSS trains between 700 and 800 life guards and organized the Young Life Guard courses with 600 up to 800 children every year for children with good swimming skills. Approximately 100 000 people, mainly children, pass the life saving basic training. Organized courses for International Boat drivers, rescue divers, lifeguard instructors and “Risk assessment”.
The main tasks of the BWLSS are as follows:
- To implement preventive activities with the public to prevent drowning by means of training on hazards during bathing and swimming and the safety, self-assistance and assistance to other skills with water accidents.
- To train life guards and other experts operating in the water life saving chain: medical doctors, nurses, scuba divers, conductors of vessels, instructors, etc.
- To provide technical assistance and guidance with the establishment and operation of life guarding stations and posts.
- To provide life guarding on beaches upon contracts with concessionaires.
- To carry out direct rescue in cases of water accidents and natural disasters with the WLSS voluntary rescue teams.
Bulgarian teams have been multiple champions at world and European Water Life Saving Championships organized by the International Life Saving Federation. Dimitar Statev; Yulian Roussev – twice; Valya Antonova; Stoyan Andonov; Emilia Yurukova and Teodora Tomova were individual world water life saving champions.
The Bulgarian Red Cross hosted two of the World Life Saving Championships. In September 2002 Bulgaria hosted the European Water Life Saving Youth Championships held at the Sozopol Training Center and the Bourgas swimming pool. Our youth team took 3 places and won 7 medals. After 1994 year the competition programme changed. Till this time in the Championships there were sixth-event and one complex champion. After 1994 the events have been divided in two venues and are called “pool events” - 10 and “open events” – 10. All this events are doing in 4 days which doing the water life saving competitions very tough but and interesting.
On the European Championships during 2005 our competitor Boyan Zlatarev won for the first time and a medal from the “Ocean events” – ski race. Description of the competition events regarding "ILS Competiton manual 2005 Edition"
OPEN WATER EVENTS
|Surf Race||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to swim 400 meters through the surf. Start and finish are on the beach|
|Board Race||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to paddle with rescue board 600 meters through the surf. Start and finish are on the beach|
|Ski Race||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to paddle with a surf ski 700 meters through the surf. Start and finish are on the beach|
|Beach Sprint||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to run 90 meters on the beach|
|Beach Run||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to run one or two kilometers on the beach|
|Beach Flags||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver lies down in the sand. After the whistle he runs 20 meters trying to obtain a baton (beach flag) in the sand. There are fewer batons than lifesavers. They who get a baton go to the next round|
|Run-Swim-Run||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to run 200 meters on the beach, to swim 300 meters through the surf and to run 200 meters on the beach again|
|Iron Man/Woman||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver has to do the surf race, the board race, the ski race and a final run on the beach. This discipline is the ultimate discipline during competitions in ocean events|
|Rescue Tube||Rescue Race Team event where the victim is to save by the rest of the team. The lifesaver runs into the water with his/her fins and rescue tube, pulls on the fins and swims to the victim who is waiting at a buoy. After fixing the victim in the rescue tube they return to the beach where two helpers are standing in the water take over the rescue and carry the victim into the finish on to the beach|
|Board Rescue||Race Team event of two competitors where the swimmer swims to the buoy. When arriving he will be saved by the lifesaver on a rescue board. They both paddle back to the beach|
|Taplin Relay||Lifesaving relay where one lifesaver does the surf race, one lifesaver the board race, one lifesaver the ski race and another lifesaver a final run on the beach|
|Beach Relay||A relay runs 4 x 90 meters over the beach|
|200 meter Obstacle Swim||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver swims 200 meters freestyle passing under 8 obstacles|
|100 meter Mannequin Carry With Fins||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver with fins swims 50 meters, dives to recover a submerged mannequin to the surface and carries the mannequin the remaining distance|
|100 meter Rescue Medley||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver swims 50 meters freestyle, dives and swims underwater (15m for women, 20m for men) to recover a submerged mannequin to the surface and carries the mannequin the remaining distance|
|50 meter Mannequin Carry||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver swims 25 meters freestyle, dives to recover a submerged mannequin to the surface and carries the mannequin the remaining distance|
|100 meter Mannequin Tow With Fins||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver with fins and rescue tube swims 50 meters freestyle, fixes the rescue tube around a floating mannequin and tows it the remaining distance|
|200 meter Super Lifesaver||Individual’s discipline where a lifesaver swims 75 meters freestyle, dives to recover a submerged mannequin and carries the mannequin 25 meters, dons his fins and a rescue tube and swims 50 meters freestyle, fixes the tube around a floating mannequin and tows it the remaining distance|
|Obstacle Relay Relay of 4x50 meter||Each lifesaver swims 50 meters freestyle passing under 2 obstacles|
|Mannequin Relay Relay of 4x25 meter||Each lifesaver carries the mannequin 25 meter|
|Medley Relay Relay of 4x50 meter||The first lifesaver swims 50m freestyle, the second one 50m with fins, the third 50m pulling a rescue tube and number 4 with fins takes over the rescue tube and tows number 3 holding the rescue tube|
|Line Throw||Team event of two competitors where the lifesaver throws a lifeline to a victim in the water and pulls him to the poolside|
|100 meter Lifesaving by Boat||A lifesaver jumps into the boat, rows to a buoy, turns around it, rows to an immersed mannequin, lifts it at the poop mirror edge and returns to the buoy using one oar, turns it around and returns to the finish|
76 James Boucher blvd.
Water Life Saving Department - BULGARIAN RED CROSS
phone: +359 2 81 64 779