Seas turn deadly for beach goers

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 21, 2017 09:55
Zvernec Beach is as pretty as it is deadly. (Photo: Panoramio)

Zvernec Beach is as pretty as it is deadly. (Photo: Panoramio)

TIRANA, July 17 – It has been a deadly week in Albania’s beaches, with four people drowning in a single day as rip currents and bad weather hit the coast at the peak of the tourist season.

Three people drowned in a single incident at Zvernec Beach near the southwestern city of Vlora.

Two women, cousins, 27 and 25, faced difficulties due to underwater currents for which the beach is notorious. As they yelled for help a young man Beniamin Ferhati, 24, an ethnic Albanian from Tetovo, Macedonia, rushed to help.

Ferhati grabbed the 25-year-old and brought her to shore before going for the other woman. The two never made it back and the girl who did make it ashore later died due to large amounts of water she had taken in.

Ferhati has been hailed as a hero in Albanian media, giving his life as he tried to save two fellow beach-goers he did know before the tragedy.

A 14-year-old boy died on the same day in the nearby Uji i Ftohte Beach.

The drawings have led to a lot of debate in Albania about the need to have more information signs for swimmers and lifeguards wherever possible. Both are mostly missing from Albanian beaches.

Zvernec Beach, one of the country’s deadliest beaches due to it underwater currents, still attracts people due to its beauty and shallow sandy coastline that hosts underwater currents that are unusual in Albania’s coastline.

However, there is not a single sign around this beach to inform swimmers about how dangerous the water is on that spot.

About 30 people have drowned there in the past few years, locals told the media.

Police said it is working to find ways to let beach-goers know about the risks at the beach’s water.

The central government says it is the duty of the local municipalities to manage and maintain safety on beaches, which the local governments say they don’t have enough funding to do so.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 21, 2017 09:55