Storm Sinks Ship Used to Take Tourists to Bulgaria’s St. Anastasia Island in Black Sea off Coast of Burgas

The Cook ship used to take tourists to the St. Anastasia Island has been damaged badly as a result of a storm. Photo: Petar Kirilov / Nova TV

A severe storm has sunken the Cook ship which during the summer usually takes tourists to the small Black Sea island of St. Anastasia located off the coast of the city of Burgas, one of Bulgaria’s most interesting new cultural tourism destinations.

The St. Anastasia Island has a total area of 0.01 square kilometers (10 decares or 2.5 acres), and is located 6.5 km southeast of the city of Burgas.

It is one out of several tiny islands off the Bulgarian coast in the Black Sea which are part of Bulgaria’s national territory.

In 2010, the Bulgarian government created a precedent by granting Burgas Municipality management rights over the St. Anastasia Island (known as the Bolshevik Island between 1945 and 1990, i.e. during Bulgaria’s communist period).

The Cook ship which took tourists to the St. Anastasia Island over the past few summers has been sunken in the harbor of the Black Sea town of Pomorie, in the Pomorie Bay, where it had been anchored.

The strong northern winds tore the ship’s ropes, and then crashed it into the harbor wall causing leakage which ultimately filled up the vessel with water, Pomorie Municipality has announced.

The Cook ship used to make several round trips per day from the Port of Burgas to the St. Anastasia Island in the Black Sea.

Another view of the sunken Cook ship in the Pomorie Bay. Photo: Burgas24

The St. Anastasia Island had a medieval monastery with the same name known from 16th century sources.

It was used to jail political prisoners by the authorities of the Tsardom of Bulgaria after the leftist September Uprising of 1923 (instigated by the Soviet Union), and then by the authorities of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria.

Today the St. Anastasia Island is the only populated Bulgarian island in the Black Sea.

Ever since it gained the management rights in 2010, Burgas Municipality has taken up the development of the St. Anastasia Island as a popular destination for cultural tourism with regular sea transport.

The Black Sea island of St. Anastasia has been developed as a cultural tourism destination by Burgas Municipality since 2010. Photo: Burgas Municipality

The largest and most famous of Bulgaria’s Black Sea islands is the St. Ivan Island off the coast of Sozopol, with a total area of 0.66 square km (660 decares, or 163 acres), which is known for its Early Christian / Early Byzantine monastery where in 2010 relics of St. John the Baptists were discovered by Bulgarian archaeologist Prof. Kazimir Popkonstantinov.

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