Safety in the Sun and Sea

Bulgaria has some beautiful beaches and swimming locations; make sure you know how to stay safe...

Being aware of the dangers related to swimming in the sea can help to avoid accidents. Children must be supervised at all times. Most frequent dangers include:

  • Water current can be really strong
  • Wind movements causing big waves. Waves normally move from sea to land during the day and from land to sea during the night
  • Choose to swim where other people are swimming

Hypothermia

In some cases - when the temperature difference between the water and the air is great - jumping quickly into the sea can cause hypothermia. The symptoms include shivering, dizziness and sight problems, a sensation of ringing ears, a sudden sensation of fever, itching, cramp, and head ache.

If this happens, get out of the water quickly, dry off, wrap up in clothes or dry towels and rest in the shade until the symptoms pass.

Sunstroke

Sunstroke can occur if exposed to the sun and the heat for too long. Children are particularly sensitive. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, stiff neck, fever. In a severe case, vomiting and unconsciousness can occur. Treatment involves rehydration with water and salts, and cooling the body gently. Lie down in a well ventilated place in the shade, ideally covered by a damp sheet, drink water without ice and take an aspirin.

Wearing a hat and drinking water regularly can prevent sunstroke.

Hazardous Marine Animals

Jellyfish

If stung by a jellyfish, rinse the sting with sea water, not fresh water. Vinegar, wine, alcohol or human male urine deactivates the nematocysts (stinging units). Tentacles should be removed, preferably lifted off the skin with for example a credit card. If stung in the face, rinse the eyes immediately and contact a doctor.

Sea-urchin

The spines of a sea-urchin can puncture the skin and go into the foot. This can cause swelling and infection. The spines break easily and are difficult to remove. To relieve pain, soak in very hot water, then visit a doctor to have the needles removed.

Rays, weaver fish and scorpionfish

Shallow sandy sea beds can hide rays and weaver fish. If distressed, a ray can lash out with its sting-laden tail. The strike of a ray on flesh can cause skin irritation or infection.

The weaver fish has poisonous spines on its dorsal fin. It rests buried in the sand, with the dorsal sticking up which, if stepped on, causes intense pain. Soak the foot in hot water.

The scorpionfish often lies concealed in rocky places. It also has poisonous spines which can give painful stings.

  • For more information about hazardous marine animals in the Black Sea: Click here

Further Information

  • European Environment Agency on State of Bathing Water: Click here
  • Bulgarian Blue Flag beaches accessible for disabled people: Click here