Survival in wild waters

What can make nearly 50 young people from different countries come to Bulgaria and participate in training to rescue and deal with fast rivers or waters as a result of floods. I wonder this while watching an exercise to pull out a man drifting in the rapids of the Struma River.

I watch with interest how each participant is once a rescuer and a rescuer a second time.

If there is a water rescue service on the beach in our country, then the rivers and reservoirs are not guarded. In practice, there is a difference between the marine environment and that in rivers or lakes.

If there is any similarity, these are the currents, but even they are quite different. It can be said that if you are aware, there is a general principle. You always try to get out of it by swimming sideways, not upstream or downstream.


However, the river, especially the one with rapids, is a much more dynamic water environment and, unlike the sea, presupposes more risks. These are river stones, branches and trees. Worn at high speeds, the risk of a collision can be fatal. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, it is good, if we float quickly on the surface of the river, to be forward with our feet.

These and other approaches are learned by the participants in the training. If there are people in our country who know these things, they are people who practice rafting professionally.

Their activities force them to be prepared. That is why they lead this training. According to Veselin Paunovski, a certified rafting instructor, the culture of people in our country to behave in rivers is low and almost absent, and in these places there is no one to constantly take care of your safety.

According to him, such knowledge should be acquired together with that of behavior in case of fires, disasters or floods. Especially against the background of several cases in recent years in our country of floods, in which people simply do not know how to deal with the waters flooding a settlement.

That is why the training organized under the Erasmus Plus program is one of the first. The desire is for as many people as possible to learn, especially children living near areas where there are rivers.

There are also representatives of the Bulgarian Red Cross in Blagoevgrad, which shows that such skills are important. The people of our Red Cross have convinced themselves as direct participants in the rescue operations of major floods in our country.

One week of training may not teach you everything you need, but it is still an experience that can save you or teach you how to save someone else.