Before we enter the water

To make your emotions by the water only pleasant, the Water Rescue Service of the Bulgarian Red Cross recommends :
  • Before going on vacation by the sea or inland waters of the country, consult your doctor;
  • Bathe and swim only in beaches guarded by the Water Rescue Service;
  • Follow the water rescue signal and the instructions of the rescuers;
  • Teach your children to swim. The best prevention against drowning is the ability to swim;
  • Never swim in the sea alone.

The three main causes of drowning are :
  • Ignorance of the dangers of bathing and swimming;
  • The inability to get out of dangerous situations that have arisen in the water;
  • Ignorance to help a person who is drowning.

The dangers of bathing and swimming

Ways to help and self-help
  • Bottom pits and thresholds - found in the sea, rivers and dams. Failure in them happens suddenly, causes fear, which turns into panic and drowning begins. On the guarded beaches the bottom pits and thresholds are marked with red floating signs / buoys / and signs on the shore. These places should not be used for bathing.
If a person unable to swim falls into a bottom pit or threshold, he can, maintaining self-control, help himself by jumping from the bottom to the shallows.

Swimming and diving in unfamiliar waters
  • The main danger is underwater rocks, various sharp objects under the water, unrooted trees when plugging some dams. Colliding with them while jumping can cause serious injuries that can cause loss of consciousness and drowning.
  • First check that it is deep enough and that there are no dangerous objects under the water.

Remember - it is good to avoid such places!

Swimming and bathing after a hearty meal
After eating, the stomach is enlarged. The digestive organs are supplied with more blood at the expense of the brain and limbs. Insufficient blood supply to the brain, combined with intense movement, cooling of the body and water pressure on the stomach can cause nausea, vomiting and even loss of consciousness, and the ingress of gastric contents into the airways leads to suffocation and drowning.
After a hearty meal you should wait about one or two hours.

The use of alcohol and drugs.
Many water accidents are due to the use of alcohol and various drugs. In both cases, people lose sight of the dangers and overestimate their own strengths and capabilities.
Swimming after drinking alcohol or drugs always leads to tragic consequences. Therefore, it is not recommended to enter the water earlier than 8 hours after drinking alcohol or other intoxicants.

Cold water
A sudden change in body temperature when a person falls into cold water can cause shock with reflex respiratory arrest. In some cases, loss of consciousness and sudden death occur. This also happens when immersed abruptly with a very hot and sweaty body, even in water that is not so cold. In reservoirs without vertical water circulation, the upper layer heats up due to the sunshine, but at depth the water remains cold. The same dangers threaten people when jumping or diving in such bodies of water.
To avoid these dangers, entering the water should be done gradually, pre-wetting the face, limbs and heart area. Staying in the water cannot be strictly defined for everyone. The initial chills after the first immersion change in most people with a pleasant feeling in the new environment. The appearance of second chills and dissatisfaction, which for some come in minutes, and in others after an hour or more, are a signal to get out of the water.

Fatigue and exhaustion - overestimation of one's own swimming skills.
Accident occurs after prolonged swimming without rest and especially if the water is cold. If you do not get out of the water in time, fatigue occurs, there is a danger of getting muscle cramps, hypothermia, and in case of extreme exhaustion - drowning.
When moving away from the shore you should swim in a group, which allows for mutual assistance if needed. In such cases, the group must be accompanied by a lifeboat. This is due to the possibility that more than one person needs help at a time.

Muscle cramps (concepts)
They are an involuntary painful contraction (spasm) of an individual muscle or muscle group. They are obtained after a sharp effort or fatigue, especially if combined with hypothermia. The muscle is contracted, hard and painful, most often affecting the muscles of the foot, lower leg and thigh, less often the arms and even less often the neck and abdomen.
The danger comes from the sudden and severe pain and the inability of the muscle to perform its functions during the seizure. Severe pain and immobilization of the limb often lead to panic and drowning.
Preventing such accidents requires good engagement of all muscle groups before swimming and avoiding fatigue and hypothermia. To some extent, changing the style of swimming delays the onset of muscle cramps.
If a seizure does occur, self-control should be maintained. When inhaling air, the human body has a positive buoyancy, which allows the retention of the water surface without swimming movements. With one or two hands, the limb is folded and unfolded in order to stretch the muscle several times until it relaxes. The muscle is then rubbed.
Stabbing with sharp objects does not help, but further irritates the muscle and further deepens the seizure.

Currents and vortex
Currents are the movement of water. They are formed not only by the natural movement of water in the rivers, but also by the wind, the excitement, the shape of the shore and the relief of the bottom. A strong current is also formed when water flows from the overflows of the dams. Their direction can be different - from the shore, obliquely or parallel to it and change according to water temperature, wind direction and relief of the bottom. Unlike rivers, currents in the sea and some large inland bodies of water are not always visible from the shore.
Whirlpools are a circular funnel-shaped movement of water to the bottom. They are most often caused by turbulence of water after an obstacle in running water or in wind and waves, as well as at the place of water abstraction in dams.
At a current speed higher than the swimmer's speed, he can be carried away from the shore if he tries to swim against the current. In such a situation, one must swim obliquely against the current until one comes out of it and then towards the shore.
Getting into a whirlpool is extremely dangerous, as it sucks bathers in depth. Bathing and swimming in places where vortices are likely to form and near dam walls is prohibited.
Exit from the vortex is possible in the natural way of the water - to the bottom, then sideways and to the surface. However, this is possible only with very good skills for diving and swimming underwater. Waves and surf - Waves are formed by the wind when the air masses rub on the surface of the water. The stronger the wind, the more powerful the waves that form. The waves in their movement towards the shore reach the shallows, which slow down their lower part, the upper part overtakes them, breaks and breaks. This is how the surf is formed.
In strong waves, the surf has a large impact force that can knock a person down, hit him in the bottom, drag him and cause injuries. This in many cases leads to drowning.
After reaching the shore, the water masses return and cause a powerful water flow rushing towards the sea. This stream seems to "pull" the bottom under the feet of bathers and makes it difficult to get ashore, that is. bottom current.

Observe the flag signaling.

To overcome the surf when entering, you dive under it, and exit is done using the wave, trying to "catch the wave";

Inflatable items
The use of inflatable boats, mattresses, belts, balls, etc. create a deceptive sense of security in people who cannot swim well and weaken their natural instinct for self-preservation. These items are very light, have little adhesion to water, roll over easily and are blown away by the wind. The danger comes from the possibility that due to careless movement of a wave caused by a passing vessel, or a sudden gust of wind, a person will lose contact with the fraudulent source of security and begin to drown.
The use of inflatable objects is recommended only to a depth from which everyone can get out on their own. Their use is prohibited in waves and wind from the coast to the sea.

Vessels - overloading, swimming near vessels, use of homemade and non-standard means
When a vessel capsizes, people must stay with it because it will serve as a support vessel and can be more easily spotted from shore.
All vessels must be equipped with life jackets according to the number of passengers and crew.
When practicing water sports for entertainment - water skiing, jet skiing / jet skating /, parachuting, sailing and more. the wearing of life jackets or life jackets is mandatory. In case of an accident and loss of consciousness, they keep the victim afloat until help is provided.

Dangerous games
Pushing and throwing people into the water, wrestling with immersion of the other and other similar "fun games"; sometimes they have a very gloomy ending. Swimming under jumping areas can lead to serious injuries and drowning. Even the harmless "chase"; around swimming pools, often leads to slips and injuries.
Swimming under water is a serious danger, which is one of the most common causes of drowning in a swimming pool.

Follow the instructions of the savior!

Muddy bottom, algae
Apart from the sea, they are also found in the fresh waters of inland waters. They create unpleasant sensations when touching the body, but can also be dangerous when entangled in them.
Once in such a place, one can overcome it with light swimming movements on the back.

Irrigation canals
Many people become victims of water in irrigation canals every year. It should be noted that they are deep, fast flowing and it is extremely difficult to get out of them, because their shores are very steep and slippery in their underwater part.

Bathing and swimming in irrigation canals is prohibited!