My rights on the beach

wallcoo.com_Summer_beach_00-300x225The summer is at its height – it’s time for some sunbathing and swimming! But what are my rights on the beach?

First of all, my access to the beach is free and unrestricted. Only for certain parts of the beach it may be limited. On the beach I am allowed to carry and use sun umbrella, lounges, towels, etc. and at least half of the beach area must be provided for free sunbathing to the visitors. This area must be indicated by signs placed by the owner/operator of the beach.

When can I use lifeguard or medical care?

Beaches are subject to mandatory safety rules. The owner/operator of the beach must provide the necessary equipment for the rescue posts and medical services for visitors during the tourist season (1.06. to 30.09.).

How can I use the lifeguard help?

There are at least two lifeguards at each rescue post who are on duty daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The clothing of the lifeguards is orange and they’re wearing the logo of the Lifeguard Service. The area of operation of the rescue station as well as the currents, the holes and other danger places are marked with buoys. Lifeguards are obliged to help us in their area of operation. They must:

  • watch constantly while they’re on duty the swimmers in their designated area;

  • carry out rescue operations in case of accidents in the water and provide first aid until the arrival of a medical specialist;

  • not allow swimming behind the buoys and unsupervised bathing of children under the age of 10.

How can I use medical care?

The owner/operator of the beach must set up a medical post and the staff is obliged to:

  • provide immediate first aid in case of water accidents;

  • keep telephone or radio contact with the rescue posts and with the nearest emergency department.

On the beach besides rights I have obligations, too. It is important to obey them for the sake of everybody’s safety. I must :

  • not swim in the prohibited areas;

  • wear a life jacket while training or practicing water sports and while using water vessels for entertainment;

  • not jump from water vessels or shore facilities unsuitable for this purpose;

  • not get near to moving or anchored water vessels;

  • not use rowing or motor boats in the area designated for bathing;

  • not move or destroy the signs, the signaling or the rescue equipment;

  • not swim behind the buoys;

  • not pollute the water or the beach;

  • park my car only in designated areas and not wash it in proximity to the bathing areas;

  • follow the instructions of the lifeguards;

  • not allow unsupervised bathing of children under the age of 10.

In case of violation I can be fined 100 to 2000 leva.

If I want to drive a jet or other water motor vehicle I must:

  • equip the vehicle with two red smoke signals, a signal mirror and a whistle;

  • not drive it in bad weather (in storm, rough seas, etc.);

  • not drive before sunrise or after sunset;

  • equip the machine with automatic brakes which ensure that in case I fall in the water the machine will stop;

  • wear a life jacket;

  • not drive at a distance less than 200 meters from buoys which designate the swimming area;

  • not drive outside of the specially designated areas for water sports marked with floating buoys and ropes;

  • not jump in the water while the vessel is moving:

  • not drive at a distance less than 300 meters from shore in coastal areas with no guarded beaches.

For violations of the above rules I can be fined 1 000 to 3 000 leva.

(*) The current article aims to outline some of Your basic rights, with no claims to be a legal advisor. If you are facing some difficulties or if your case is more complex we strongly encourage you to consult a legal expert. (*)

Bogdan Mlachkov
Slavena Koycheva

Radoslav Pavlov