A Romanian NGO’s initiative to improve seaside safety generated hostile and derogatory comments in the media. In short, some marketing heads decided it could be a good idea for the buoys to have a cemetery cross-shaped design. The initiative was supposed to improve awareness of drowning risk in the water while venturing beyond the safety line.
The Emergency Department in Romania attempted to plant these cross-shaped buoys in the Black Sea to warn people that being not very careful in the water is not an option and to deter swimmers from going too far out into the sea.
A bright orange cross sits atop the buoys, along with a plaque that reads, “No swimming beyond the buoy. Past this point, you’re in danger of drowning!” or: “Last year, 36 people perished after driving past the buoys. Now is the time to return to the shore!”
This non-conformist project has attracted much criticism on social media, and the officials were forced to give up this idea. It also led to rescuers refusing to install cross-shaped buoys on the seashore.
In a message on his Facebook page, Raed Arafat, the high-ranking official from the Ministry of Interior responsible for the implementation of this project, stated that seeing a person drown or learning how to bring a person back to life is more painful for an adult or a youngster than seeing the red cross off the coast.
In order to be visible and attract attention, it could not be a small floating ball, being necessary for higher visibility when approaching the danger zone. The idea of a red cross can be interpreted in many ways, but it signals the danger from a distance, and as you get closer to it, you can read the warning text, drawing your attention that you are already very close to danger.Raed Arafat
Each of the coast’s lifeguards has received one of these buoys; however, they have stated that they will not be installed.
We will not install them because the role of the buoy is to mark the safety zone. Its shape and colour are well specified in the law. This buoy, which I do not know by whom it was created, does not meet these conditions. In addition, the buoys are dangerous, it has corner plates, and when the sea is rough, and a person is curious to read that message, that plate can hurt them.Gabriel Culea, coordinator of the Lifeguard Service for Mamaia and Constanta
Opinions are divided. Some believe this idea would help reduce the drowning cases on the Romanian coast. Others consider that it would turn the Black Sea into a cemetery. In any case, Romanians know how to have dark humour in such situations.