The sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia extends over the internal waters and the territorial sea as well as over the air space above them and over the seabed and the subterranean area beneath.
The internal seawaters of the Republic of Croatia include: harbours and bays on the mainland and island coast, parts of the sea between the mainland coast and the baseline of the territorial sea.
Foreign merchant vessels are allowed to navigate in internal waters and enter ports open to international traffic by using the shortest regular routes.
Foreign vessels (yachts) may freely approach and remain in the internal waters of the Republic of Croatia under the condition that they are in possession of a Navigation Permit issued by harbour master’s office or its branch office. In exceptional cases they may obtain special permits. Legal regulations for foreign vessels apply to foreign pleasure craft as well. In the internal waters of the Republic of Croatia there may be prohibited zones foreign vessels (yachts) may not enter, while domestic vessels may do so only under special conditions and with special permits. All such information as well as other important data is contained in the Navigation Permit that is issued to every foreign vessel (yacht) at the first port of entry. Daily changes are announced by means of navigational radio broadcasts, while changes that are to remain in force over longer periods are published in the Notice to Mariners.
Transport of cargo and passengers from one port to another (cabotage) may be carried out by Croatian vessels only; this does not apply to foreign yachts if they transport persons without charge.
A foreign vessel (yacht) seeking shelter in the internal sea of the Republic of Croatia due to force majeure or danger has to notify the nearest harbour master’s office without delay.
The territorial sea of the Republic of Croatia comprises an expanse of water 12 M in width, extending from the starting line towards the high seas.
The starting line is composed of:
The low water line along the mainland and island coasts,
Straight lines closing entrances to ports and bays,
Straight lines connecting legally determined points on the main land and island coasts.
The outer border of the territorial sea runs along a line each point of which lies at a distance of 12 M from the nearest point of the starting-line.
Vessels of all foreign states enjoy the right of harmless passage through the territorial sea (without entering ports; without endangering order and peace or the security of the Republic of Croatia). Foreign vessel is to proceed without stopping or delay; stopping and anchoring is permitted only if due to some navigational problem, force majeure, imminent danger or rendering help at sea. Foreign fishing craft are obliged to use the shortest route without stopping or anchoring, at a speed not below 6 knots; while navigating they are obliged to exhibit signs by which they may be identified as fishing vessels. They are forbidden to fish, i.e. catch any kind of sea organisms; their catch and their fishing equipment are to be stored inside the vessel or sealed if on deck. In the territorial sea or in the internal waters special vessels (navy or other vessels and aircraft) are authorized to: investigate whether a vessel has the right to fly its flag; stop any suspicious vessel (yacht); examine the ship’s documents and search such a vessel (yacht); chase, impound her and bring to the pertinent authority.
A foreign vessel shall be subject to legal proceedings if the authorities of the Republic of Croatia find reasonable suspicion that the vessel in question and/or its launch have broken laws or regulations relating to the Republic of Croatia sovereignty and jurisdiction or such as imposed by international law. The same applies if a foreign vessel fails to stop after it has been visually or audibly signalled to do so. The pursuit of such a vessel shall last till it stops or enters the territorial waters of its own or some other state.
Offenders are subject to severe punishment ranging from fines to seizure of the vessel (yacht) and equipment, i.e. the catch (in case of fishing craft).
The epicontinental shelf and the commercial zone of the republic of Croatia
The epicontinental shelf of the Republic of Croatia comprises the seabed and its subterranean area beyond the external border of the territorial sea up to the border of the epicontinental shelves of neighbouring countries. The Republic of Croatia implements its sovereign right to explore and exploit the natural resources of this area (mineral and other inanimate wealth on the seabed and its subterranean area or organisms found exclusively beneath the seabed or in permanent physical contact with the seabed).
The law of the Republic of Croatia defines the commercial zone as the seabed and its subterranean area extending beyond the outer border of the territorial sea towards the high seas up to the borders of the commercial zones of neighbouring countries. Within this zone the Republic of Croatia has the exclusive right to construct, permit and regulate construction work and to use artificial islands, installations and equipment offshore, on the seabed and in its subterranean area. Within this zone vessels are required to respect regulations aimed at preventing pollution of the sea.
Access, navigation and stay of yachts of foreign registration
Foreign yachts, boats and sports sailing boats may enter and sail in the territorial sea of the Republic of Croatia and according to a sailing plan (itinerary) call at ports and harbours in accordance with the regulations.
Navigation Permit (Odobrenje za plovidbu) is issued by the harbour master’s office or its branch office in the nearest port or harbour open to international traffic (port of entry) in agreement with the authorized police and customs bodies of the Republic of Croatia. Such authorization lasts until the yacht (vessel) leaves the territorial sea of the Republic of Croatia.
Shipmaster has to enter such a port by shortest route and immediately call to the harbour master’s office or its branch office. For a yacht (boat) transported by land the Navigation Permit can be obtained in any of the harbour master’s offices or their branch offices.
The following information is necessary before a Navigation Permit can be given: name (ime) of vessel, registered number (oznaka), state flag (zastava), home port (domicilna luka), nationality (nacionalnost), registered tonnage (RT), length (duljina), width (sirina), height (visina), draught (gaz), make and horsepower of engine (vrsta motora i pogonska snaga), make and number of radio-receiver (radio prijamnik), of radio-transmitter (radio odasiljac), of radio direction finder, of radar, of underwater ultrasonic and any other technical equipment; given name (ime) and family name (prezime), nationality (dravljanstvo), maritime rank (zvanje u brodarstvu), kind and number of passport or similar document (vrsta i broj putne isprave) of the master, number of crew members (broj clanova posade), number of passengers (broj ostalih putnika); the crew list of the vessel: family name and given name of every crew member (ime, prezime), number of passport or equivalent document (broj putne isprave), nationality (drzavljanstvo), place, year and day of birth (mjesto, godina i datum rodenja) and duty on the ship (duznost na brodu); the list of other passengers: family name and given name, date of birth, nationality, port of embarkation (luka ukrcaja), passport number.
An attested list of crewmembers and of passengers on a yacht or boat of foreign register is an integral part of the Navigation Permit.
Yachts of international registration can stay and sail along the coast of the Republic of Croatia only if they are validly registered as yachts in their own country, if they have customary maritime documents and are outfitted according to the regulations of their own country, and if the crew have valid documents showing their qualifications. If such a foreign yacht, boat or other vessel is not in possession of all valid documents then the procedure is as follows: the vessel must be submitted to technical inspection to determine its seaworthiness. If it passes such technical inspection then it may be declared seaworthy and issued with a Navigation Permit. If it is not declared seaworthy then it may be demanded that certain noticed defects be remedied. If the master of a vessel of foreign registration is not in possession of the necessary documents concerning his/her qualifications (navigation licence), or if the crewmembers do not possess adequate documents showing other qualifications then a temporary licence and/or papers may be issued upon the completion of an examination. These are valid for the same length of time as the Navigation Permit. Persons who are not members of the crew do not need any other document except valid passports. Croatian customs and exchange regulations are valid for all those sailing a yacht, boat or other vessel.
The same regulations apply to foreign vessels entering Croatia overland. However, they do not apply to kayaks and boats of less then 3 m without mechanical propulsion. Such craft do not need Navigation Permits; they must however abide by all regulations and restrictions valid for other craft.
On leaving Croatian territorial sea, the master of a vessel is bound to record his exit with the competent persons in the nearest international port of entry.
If a Croatian national or a foreigner hires a Croatian boat (rent-a-boat) for sport or recreation and does not have a navigation licence he must take a navigation test according to a certified programme which can be obtained at any harbour master’s office or its branch office.
Foreign yachts cannot engage in cabotage (the carriage for hire of goods or passengers). But members of the owner’s family and relatives can be transported. Croatian nationals can stay on foreign yachts while they are in harbour, but cannot sail in such yachts without authorization from the interior security authorities. This does not apply to sailing in internal waters. The names of such Croatian nationals must be included in the list of passengers submitted for authorization to the authorities in the port of embarkation.
Foreign yachts, which are not issued with a Navigation Permit, must leave Croatian territorial sea by a stipulated route. Such yachts may stay in a port or harbour only for essential repairs, to take on food or fuel, or if in need of medical attention. No fishing may be done from foreign yachts unless they are in possession of a fishing permit.
A foreign yacht may be left for safekeeping and maintenance, including agreed on repairs or alterations, at a Croatian marina, harbour for pleasure craft or similar place. In such cases the master has to inform the pertinent harbour master’s office or its branch office and the customs authorities or its branch office. The harbour master’s office will enter the data concerning such laying-up of a foreign vessel into the Navigation Permit.
On our coast specialized marinas engage in such safekeeping and maintenance of yachts. Each of them has own price listing all services rendered.
Ports open to international traffic as maritime border crossings
These are ports (parts of them) at which vessels (yachts) of Croatian register are obliged to call when departing for or returning from abroad. The same applies to vessels (yachts) of foreign register. Such ports may be open to international traffic permanently or seasonally.
Croatian ports permanently open to international traffic: Umag, Porec, Rovinj, Pula, Rasa, Rijeka, Mali Losinj, Senj, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Korcula, Ploce, Metkovic and Dubrovnik.
Seasonal maritime border crossings are fixed for each year anew (from May 1 through October 30). They are: Novigrad, Sali, Soline, Primosten, Ravni Zakanj (Island of Kornati), Ubli and Komiza.
Customs officials, harbour authorities and the interior security service operate in all the above ports of entry, each with their own responsibility for the maintenance of order in the harbour, the stay of vessels, harbour operations, loading and unloading of cargo and passengers, and ship’s crew. In those ports or harbours, which are not designated as ports of entry, the above operations can only exceptionally be carried out, and only with the written permission of the responsible organs.
A master of a vessel of foreign register can be fined for a navigation offence: if he navigates in the internal sea waters and in the territorial sea of the Republic of Croatia without a Navigation Permit; if when registering his vessel he supplies inaccurate information to authorities; if he leaves or re-enters Croatian territorial sea without notifying the responsible authorities of his so leaving and re-entering.
Ships and boat’s documents and records
All vessels must be entered into the Register of Ships (Upisnik brodova), and boats in the Register of Boats (Upisnik camaca), the categories being commercial, personal use, sports recreation. All commercial vessels must be registered with the competent harbour master’s office, while other vessels are registered with the harbour master’s office or the local branch office on which the boat depends. The above registers are public documents, which record details concerning the vessel, name of owner and/or holder of the right of use and any other legal information about the rights concerning the ship or boat. All vessels and boats owned by Croatian legal subjects or citizens must be entered. Vessels and boats owned by foreign physical or legal persons need to be entered only if so required by Croatian law and regulations relevant for the registration of vessels. Foreign citizen may, in principle, register his boat in the Register of Boats, but only if this boat is not entered in the foreign register.
Boats intended for sport or recreation whose owner is a citizen of Croatia resident abroad, a foreign national resident abroad, or a foreign legal subject operating from abroad must also be registered if they constantly or mainly navigate in the territorial sea of the Republic of Croatia. They must not be entered in a foreign Register of Boats.
Registration forms for initial registration of ships must be accompanied by:
Certificate of make or some other certificate of ownership;
Nationality certificate for physical persons and certificate of registration in the Republic of Croatia for legal subjects;
Certificate showing name and homeport of a vessel:
Tonnage certificate (tonnage bill);
Dead weight scale;
Seaworthiness certificate or navigation permit;
Freeboard certificate (loadline certificate).
Registration forms for initial entry of boats into a Register of Boats must be accompanied by:
Construction certificate or statement attesting do-it-yourself construction or any other certificate of ownership;
Tonnage certificate (tonnage bill);
Proof of ownership of engine.
In addition the harbour master’s offices and branch offices may demand other complementary certificates.
All documents accompanying the request for registering must be submitted in the original.
When registration is completed a Certificate of Registration for a ship and a Navigation Permit for a boat which bear all the data entered into the register will be issued. Any later changes entered into the register must also be entered into a Certificate of Registration or a Navigation Permit.
The following craft do not have to be entered into the Register of Boats:
A boat entered in a foreign register;
Sports rowing boats, kayaks and similar craft, boats of less than 3 m in length and 1 m in width; exception to the last are boats less than 3 m long which are so constructed to be used for speed boating (with appropriate engines).
Ships and boats are deleted from the register:
If they are lost or may be considered lost;
If they no longer meet the required conditions or are not used for their original purpose;
If they are permanently withdrawn from use;
if they have been entered into another register.
A ship or boat propelled mechanically is taken to be lost if nothing has been noticed of her for three months, or six months for a vessel without mechanical propulsion. The owner or holder of legal right of use of the vessel must request deletion within 8 days. Such deletion is effected by the harbour master’s office where the vessel is registered.
Seaworthiness of a ship
Ships of the Croatian merchant navy may sail when they have been declared seaworthy and possess all the necessary documents. They are declared seaworthy on the basis of regulations concerning the construction, outfit and maintenance of the ship and on the basis of the required number of qualified crewmembers. Hrvatski registar brodova (Croatian Register of Ships) in Split is responsible for this in the Republic of Croatia.
Inspections to attest seaworthiness may be initial, regular or special.
Initial inspections are carried out before the ship is registered in Register of Ships of the Republic of Croatia. The ship-owner or the holder of legal right of use makes a request for such inspection. Initial inspection may be of the entire vessel or of parts thereof.
Regular inspections are carried out every 12 months. In procedure and extent they are the same as initial inspections.
Special inspections may cover a whole vessel or parts thereof. They must be carried out whenever a ship suffered damage, or has been laid up for more than 6 months, when there have been considerable reconstructions or alterations and whenever the owner so requests. The harbour master’s office may demand such inspections if there is reasonable doubt as to a ship’s seaworthiness.
When a vessel has been passed as seaworthy it is fitted out with the necessary documents.
Harbour master’s office is responsible for the security of ships at sea and may inspect whether ships have necessary documents and check that the state of the vessel tallies with the data in documents.
Similar checks can be made on foreign vessels, that is, on vessels, which are not registered in a Register of Ships of the Republic of Croatia.
Seaworthiness of a boat
By maritime boat any vessel is understood up to 12 metres in length or less of 15 BRT which is seaworthy. It may be larger than 15 BRT if it has no deck or if it is not a vessel for technical purposes.
If a boat has several means of propulsion it is classified according to the principal means.
A boat-yacht is any boat so equipped that it can propel itself for a considerable period under its own power.
A speedboat is a boat equipped with an engine, which allows it to move with its bows lifted above the water. A motorboat is a boat propelled in normal navigation by inboard or outboard engine.
Sports sailing boats are boats of special construction with sails. They may be classified according to the classes for this kind of vessels by sailing organizations or may be unclassified.
Boats which must be entered in the Register of Boats (Upisnik camaca) can sail within delimited areas on specified purposes: if they have been passed seaworthy (in construction, maritime properties, means of propulsion and equipment) and are in possession of a Navigation Permit and operated by a qualified person.
Boats may be intended for commercial (carriage of cargo or passengers, fishing etc.) or for non-commercial purposes (personal use, sport, recreation).
Passenger carrying boats must be built according to the specifications of the Register of Boats of the Republic of Croatia. Any vessel (boat) carrying 12 or more passengers is called a ship.
A boat is certified seaworthy after inspection by competent harbour master’s offices or harbour offices. Such inspections may be initial, regular or special.
Initial inspection is carried out on all boats before they are entered into the Register of Boats, and after any reconstruction has been carried out.
Regular inspections are carried out periodically to ensure that boats are properly maintained. Periods vary as follows:
boats for transporting passengers or for water-skiing every year;
other boats used for commercial purposes every second year;
boats for personal use, sport and recreation every five years (if the boat is longer than 5 m).
Special inspections are carried out if a boat has had an accident, if there is reasonable doubt about its seaworthiness, or if the owner so requests.
Owners must report any accident suffered by their boat within 24 hours at the nearest harbour master’s office.
A boat that has been passed as seaworthy is issued with a Navigation Permit. If it is not passed, a Navigation Permit is not issued or is issued for a limited period.
A boat, which transports passengers for distances in excess of one nautical mile, must have mechanical propulsion. If passage lasts for more than three hours continuously then the boat must have toilet facilities and sufficient drinking water.
A boat for transport of passengers and cargo (for commercial purposes) must have a clearly marked loadline. The loadline must be shown by a white line 150 x 15 mm. The number of passengers that the boat may carry is determined by the harbour master’s office and must be clearly marked on the boat. Two children under the age of 10 are equivalent of one adult passenger, but each child must have a life jacket.
Boats carrying passengers in the territorial sea of the Republic of Croatia must possess the following equipment:
an anchor of adequate size and anchor rope (25100 m);
two 10 m long ropes of adequate diameter, or similar equipment for mooring;
bitts or similar mooring equipment;
a spare hand rudder shaft if the boat has separate steering equipment;
a hand pump or bucket and dipper;
two oars, four rowlocks or pins (it may have a spare engine or a by-boat instead);
a boat’s compass with illumination;
an up-to-date chart of the area of navigation;
the Adriatic Sea Pilot, Part I East Coast (Peljar Jadranskog mora, I. dio istocna obala) and the List of Lights in the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea and Maltese Islands (Popis svjetionika Jadranskog mora, Jonskog mora i Malteskih otoka);
Two nautical triangles or protractor, compasses and other necessary materials for plotting on the navigation chart;
Some means of giving acoustic signals in fog (foghorn or similar);
six red hand flares, three red rockets and two boxes of matches in waterproof wrapping;
portable fire-extinguisher and an axe;
a first-aid cupboard or box;
a life ring (of approved type) with a rope 25 m long and 6 mm of diameter;
the same number of life jackets (life belts) as passengers that the boat is registered to carry, of which 10 per cent must be of child size;
an awning to protect passengers from the sun and a boat for the transport of cargo hatches for covering hatchways on the deck and waterproof covers;
tools and basic spares for the engine and other mechanical equipment;
navigation lights according to the International Rules for the Prevention of the Collision on the Sea;
a battery torch;
a concave rear-view mirror and safety cord for outboard engine (speedboat);
radio-telephone equipment if passengers are transported outside internal waters.
Boats for other commercial purposes and sailing in a restricted area, if the port authority so decides, do not need a compass, navigational charts, handbooks, flares rockets and radio equipment.
Boats of more than 7 m long which are not intended for commercial use must have the following equipment:
an anchor of adequate size and anchor rope at least 25100 m long;
two mooring-ropes of adequate diameter 10 m in length and two bitts or similar equipment for mooring;
a spare hand rudder shaft;
a hand pump or bucket and dipper;
two oars, four pins or rowlocks or a spare engine or a by-boat;
a boat’s compass;
up-to-date navigation charts with plotting equipment, a List of Lights and Pilot;
a foghorn or other means of transmitting sound signals;
fire-extinguisher and an axe;
a first-aid cupboard or box;
a complete set of tools and spare parts for maintenance of the engine and other mechanical equipment;
a battery torch;
at least two red handflares or rockets and two boxes of matches in waterproof wrapping;
a sufficient number of life jackets (life belts).
Maritime boats 57 m need the same equipment as boats of more than 7 m with the exception of: compass, charts and navigational publications, foghorn, flares, rockets and matches, fire extinguisher, first-aid box and life jackets (life belts).
Foreign speedboats or other craft while sailing in the territorial sea of the Republic of Croatia must have a Navigation Permit and the following equipment:
an anchor of adequate size and anchor rope of at least 30 m;
rope of adequate diameter and not shorter than 10 m;
two spare oars;
prescribed navigation lights;
a pump or bucket and dipper;
six red hand flares and two boxes of matches in waterproof wrapping;
a rear-view mirror if pulling water-skier.
Other foreign boats must have a Navigation Permit and the following equipment:
an anchor of adequate size with at least 30 m of anchor rope;
rope of adequate diameter at least 10 m long;
bitts or other mooring equipment;
two spare oars;
prescribed navigation lights.
Portable fire-extinguisher and an adequate number of life jackets (life belts) are also recommended.
Boats of foreign register can navigate only by persons with an up-to-date Navigation Licence issued according to the regulations of their own state or who have been issued with a Navigation Licence by the competent Croatian harbour master’s office.
Person who wish to take the test for a mariner-motorist must fulfil the following conditions: be at least 18 years old, has navigated his/her own boat for at least three years or has spent as a seaman on a merchant navy ship at least one year. The test is taken before a commission of the competent harbour master’s office and according to a specified programme. An application to take the test must be sent to the harbour master’s office accompanied with a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, medical certificate on the hearing and eyesight of the applicant and a certificate of educational level (at least eight years of schooling).
Any boat for the transport of passengers or for commercial purposes up to the outer border of the territorial border of the Republic of Croatia must be navigated by a professional mariner motorist. Such boats must have at least one other seaman as a crewmember. Each member of the crew must have a professional Sailor’s Book or Embarkation Permit.
Persons wishing to take the test for amateur skipper (voditelj camca) must be at least 18 years old for navigating a speedboat (regardless of the horsepower of the engine) or a motorboat for commercial purposes, and only within a certain limited area. Persons with such a licence can transport passengers within the harbour area only.
Persons who wish to steer a boat with outboard engine of up to 3.7 kW (5 HP) or a boat with a sail up to 5 m long need only pass a test to show their knowledge of the Rules for the Prevention of Collision at Sea and are then issued with a certificate.
Rowing boats for personal use may be operated by persons over 12 years of age without any licence or certificate. They must, however, pass theoretical and practical tests held by a board of the harbour master’s office according to a prescribed programme. Harbour master’s offices organize such tests according to their annual plans. All details can be obtained upon written or personal application.
The ship’s Navigation Permit and master’s Navigation Licence (according to one of the two above mentioned categories) must always be kept on board.
Boats can navigate in the territorial sea and internal seawaters of the Republic of Croatia. Harbour master’s office may delimit or extend the area in which a boat can sail including the right to sail beyond the Croatian territorial seas, or into the territorial seas and internal sea waters of another states.
For safety of navigation and sea traffic, boats must keep a certain distance from the shore (except in harbours and bathing places): rowing boats up to 30 m, motorboats and sailing-boats up to 50 m, and speedboats, when sailing at speed, 200 m.
Boat regulations stipulate other details on the seaworthiness of the boats as well as the penalties for infringement of the regulations.
Vessels used for commercial purposes must meet the standards set by Croatian Register of Ships or similar foreign register.
Navigation prohibited area
In agreement with the Croatian Navy (HRM), the number and size of zones in which sailing is prohibited has been greatly decreased. Although the HRM has not yet officially abolished the former prohibited zones, everything north of the island of Hvar is considered free for sailing, except parts of ports that are naval ports and a small number of prohibited and protected areas.
Designated parts of the ports of Pula, Sibenik, Split (Lora) and Ploce (Bazine).
Prohibited areas and protected areas:
I. The area around the Isles of Braun is zone in which navigation is prohibited. It is delimited by the following lines:
1) Rt Barbaren – RT Kadulja
2) Rt Kadulja – Isle of Supinic
Isle of Supinic – Position A (longitude: 44o 52,6’N latitude: 13o42,2′ E)
3) Position A – position B: (longitude: 44o52,6’N, latitude: 13o45,1’E)
4) Position B – Postion C: (longitude: 44o53,2’N, latitude: 13o46,0’E)
5) Position C – Rt Kamnik
The south-eastern part of the Isle of Brijuni within the connecting line Rt Kavran – Rt – Kozlac.
II. Navigation is prohibited in Limski kanal on the Western coast of Istria because there is a shellfish farm in it. Only a limited number of excursion boats can navigate in the bay.
III. The largest and best-known protected area is the Kornati National Park, which extends from Prolaz Proversa Vela (south of the island Dugi Otok) to the southern point of the Isle of Kornati. All activities that may pollute the sea are strictly prohibited.
IV. Navigation is prohibited in several bays because of the fish farms located in them. They are listed in pilot books and are marked by signs on the shore and on buoys.
V. Under a regulation of the Ministry for Maritime Affairs, Transport and Communications, the following activities are prohibited in the interest of safety of swimmers and navigation:
in harbours: swimming, speed boating, windsurfing, water skiing;
windsurfing in narrow lanes used for commercial shipping;
boats must keep at a distance of at least 50 m from such ships; motorboats and sailboats must keep at least 50 m swimming outside marked bathing areas or off the open shore at least five days prior to within a distance of more than 100 m;
polluting the sea with plastic, glass and other packaging materials and rubbish.
Speedboats, jet-propelled boats and hovercraft must keep at least 250 m from the shore and in areas when the navigation of such craft is not prohibited.
Participation in regattas
A foreign vessel entering the coastal sea, rivers or lakes of the Republic of Croatia to take part in sports competitions does not pay navigation security compensation.
The organizer of the sports event must register a foreign yacht or foreign boat. The registration term is the beginning of the competition. The registration is submitted to the authorized port authority.
Wintering of the yachts in Croatia
Privately owned yachts can be left in Croatia for wintering or repaid for an unlimited period of time with a legal or natural person registered for this activity (a marina or a private individual who has obtained the necessary license from the municipal authorities).
Boat rental (charter)
a) Yachts may be hired (chartered) only from registered, authorized companies, domestic and foreign. It is irrelevant for the client whether the yacht files the Croatian or a foreign flag. Chartering yachts for profit without a license issued by the Croatian authorities is illegal and may have unpleasant consequences for the owner, skipper and crew.
b) The chartering (renting out) of one or several yachts against payment is a commercial activity, which in Croatia, as in all other market-oriented countries, is subject to official authorization. Chartering without such an authorization is considered “lack charter” and is punishable.
Information about legal charter activity can be obtained from agencies such as marinas.
c) There are lot of charter companies in Croatia. Usually they are located in marinas.
Change of the crew
Privately owned yachts can be left in Croatia for wintering or repaid for an unlimited period of time with a legal or natural person registered for this activity (a marina or a private individual who has obtained the necessary license from the municipal authorities).
Order in harbours and shipping lines
Management, maintenance and order in harbours are the responsibility of the harbour master’s office and their branch offices. The shipmaster or person navigating the boat must abide by all harbour regulations.
Person navigating a ship or a boat in harbour must take care not to damage shore, piers, harbour installations, moored craft etc. Vessels (boats) for sport or recreation, as well as boats in general, must not hinder ship’s traffic in harbours. They are forbidden to move in the operative part of the harbour (landing place), especially in parts reserved for international traffic unless they have a special permit. The Luka company or any other administrative body in charge of the port (harbour) regulate the mooring and anchorage plan and facilities in a harbour. The master of a boat is responsible for the boat’s safety while in harbour.
Fishing, bathing and anchoring in a harbour and its depending area are regulated by the harbour master’s office and must not hinder traffic.
It is forbidden to throw garbage or any other kind of refuse overboard in a harbour. Tanks and bilges can be emptied only on the high seas and in places designated by harbour authorities.
Loading, unloading and transhipping of cargo must be done by a qualified personnel and in such a way that persons are not endangered, the shore installations are not damaged and cargo does not fall into the sea. After the loading or unloading is finished the responsible persons must clean up the relevant part of the quay.
If dangerous materials (explosive or inflammable matter) are being loaded or unloaded the harbour master’s office must be informed thereof and the efficiency of the boat’s fire-extinguisher equipment must be checked. When such materials are being handled the code flag; B+ (international: Bravo) must be flown as required by international regulations.
Ships must pay a harbour tax for the usage of harbour waterfront (when embarking or disembarking goods and passengers) and a demurrage fee (if they use the waterfront for other purposes).
Moreover, ships must pay a fee for usage of sailing routes (light dues). These dues are not payable if boats must seek harbour as a result of force majeure.
Boats must pay a harbour tax for mooring and for the usage of sea goods. Foreign boats are charged only for mooring. The following restrictions on the navigation of boats should be noted:
For greater safety and to prevent damage to vessels moored in ports, harbours and marinas on the Croatian coast there are speed restrictions in the following places: Limpkin sale (6 knots); Paula harbour (5-8 knots); Cress harbour (7 knots, from Ovarian point): Bay of Baker (6 knots); Rab harbour (4 knots); the Zrmanja river (8 knots); Novsko zdrilo (8 knots); Mali Zdrelac passage (8 knots); Pasman straits (10 knots); Kanal Sv. Ante, Sibenik(6 knots); Ploceharbour (6 knots); Peljesac channel (12 knots); Rijeka Dubrovacka (4 knots); and Dubrovnik Gruz harbour (4 knots).
Boats, other than rowing boats, must not sail immediately off natural bathing places unless they are embarking or disembarking passengers, and then only at designated points and navigating carefully. Windsurfing is also forbidden within 20 m of bathing beaches.
Boats must keep clear of all places marked by special floating signs as forbidden for navigation, especially when work is in progress. If such places cannot be avoided then boats must go dead slow.
Speed boating at speed, water-skiing and wind surfing are forbid den in harbours and their depending areas (especially harbour entrance), in narrow channels, bays, coves etc., also where sea traffic is intense. In other zones speedboats must keep at least 200 m from the shore. It is also forbidden to drag ski tows astern without skiers, skiing at night or in poor visibility, skiing behind a speedboat, which is already pulling skiers, or beside such a boat at less than the length of the ski-tow rope.
When anchoring persons in charge of a boat must be alert to any signs on the shore showing that anchoring is forbidden because of underwater electric or telephone (telegraph) cables or water pipes.
Boat-owners must not allow the use of their boats by persons who do not have the necessary qualifications and papers.
Sport fishing for leisure includes the catching of fish, crustaceans (crabs, lobsters etc.), cephalopodan (squid etc.), and shellfish.
Equipment for this purpose is deemed to be: a fishing-line, fishing hook, rod and line, drag line or long-line with up to 200 hooks, underwater gun without explosives, harpoon or fish-spear (for use with fishing-boats with lights of up to 400 candelas or without lights). If amateur fishing is organized by a fishing club then larger fishing boats (leisure boats) can be used. For fishing with rod and line from shore no permit is necessary and no dues payable. For all other kinds of sport fishing permits are necessary and charges payable according to a scale determined by the local commune authorities.
Citizens of the Republic of Croatia and foreign citizens with a permanent residence permit in the Republic of Croatia who are members of Croat fishing clubs (associated in the Association of Underwater Activities and Marine Sport Fishing) and who can produce their membership book can without charge or other permit fish in all permitted fishing-areas and with all kinds of fishing tackle except underwater guns. For underwater fishing with guns a special permit is necessary and special charge pay able, and such fishing zones are determined by the local commune authorities. Foreign citizens who have not got a permanent resident permit in the Republic of Croatia need special fishing permits and must pay the relevant charges.
Amateur fishing is restricted by certain regulations. There must be no disturbance of commercial fishing; persons under 16 must not go fishing underwater with guns; aqualungs and other forms of underwater breathing equipment must not be used; underwater guns must not be used between sunset and sunrise. Underwater fishing is totally prohibited between November 1 and March 31 (except in the case of international competitions); a maximum of 5 kg of fish and other sea animals may be caught in any one day except during international competitions; the following are not counted in the permitted 5 kg: sharks, rays and individual fish of rare size such as sea-bass, dentex, sea-bream etc. Fish caught for sport may not be sold or exchanged for other items.
In fishing reserves no fishing or hunting of any kind of sea animal is permitted. Such reserves are the estuaries of the rivers: Dragonja, Mirna, Rasa, Zrmanja, Krka, Jadro, Zrnovica (near Stobrec), Cetina, Neretva and Rijeka Dubrovacka, the chan nel Fazanski kanal, the bays and coves Limski zaljev, Medulinski zaljev, Soline (Krk island), Bistrina (near Mali Ston) and the lake Mljetska jezera.
The following are authorized to oversee the observance of fishing regulations: fishing inspectors of local municipalities, interior security agencies, harbour master’s office authorities, State Inspectorate of Fishing, responsible units of the Croatian Navy and the maritime customs authorities.
Persons breaking the fishing laws can be fined, their fishing tackle and equipment may be confiscated and so may the catch or any profit made from fishing. In order to prevent over fishing of white fish both commercial and amateur fishing may be banned for limited periods, in limited areas or for certain kinds of fishing equipment. Persons applying for a fishing permit, especially for underwater fishing-guns, should get all relevant information from the municipal authorities in the area in which they intend to fish, especially information concerning any restrictions in force.
Diving with diving equipment, underwater photography, filming and all forms of marine research of sea or seabed are understood by underwater activities.
By diving with diving equipment, all underwater activities are understood that require the use of compressed air or breathing apparatus.
By autonomous diving equipment the diving apparatus is understood as well as diving clothes with the complete underwater breathing equipment.
Any taking of photographs (black-and-white or colour) below sea level is understood to be underwater photography. Underwater filming is all filming with cine-cameras, TV, video or other underwater filming equipment.
By marine research of sea or seabed the collection of all kinds of oceanographic, biological, geological, stereological, gravimetric and other data are understood.
Areas of underwater activity must be clearly marked by a blue and white flag, diving by a red and white flag or some circular marker buoy (in diameter larger than 30 cm) of orange or red colour. The flags must be fixed to a floating buoy placed in the centre of the area where the activity is taking place.
On those parts of the coastal sea that are not forbidden zones the citizens of the Republic of Croatia can dive with diving equipment and do underwater photography without restriction if they are members of a society or a club for this activity recognized by the Croatian Association for Underwater Activities and Sport Fishing in the Sea and provided that they have the necessary diving qualifications. Persons of foreign nationality may obtain permits from the state bodies responsible.
Diving with equipment is permitted in the Croatian territorial sea from sunrise to sunset.
The above underwater activities are forbidden in: specially designated zones; in ports and harbours open to public traffic and on the sea-routes normally used for such traffic; 300 m around any naval vessel; in naval harbours and in zones marked as military objects and forbidden for diving of any kind.
Detailed information abut the exact location of forbidden zones, esp. coordinates and the boundaries of the zones, can be obtained at all harbour master’s offices or their branch offices.
Navigation beacons and radio beacons
Sea-lanes are denoted by visual markers, lights, sound warnings and by electronic appliances. Visual markers by day and lights by night are most important for vessels.
In the Republic of Croatia the International IOLA A-system for denoting of sea-lanes is being used: lateral combined with cardinal. Beacons may be anchored buoys or stationary. Full details are given in Pilot 1 The Adriatic Sea (east coast) and in Pilot 2 The Adriatic Sea (west coast) and in the List of Lights in the Adriatic, Ionian Sea and Maltese Islands published by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split. Light signals are best studied for each case separately.
Beacons in the Lateral System. The beacons in this system denote the port (left) and starboard (right) sides of fairways and navigation channels, the port marks to be left to port, the starboard ones to starboard. Port and starboard are given according to the course that a vessel would sail into harbour, channel or river mouth from the open sea. In navigation channels that run parallel to the coast and can be approached from either end, port and starboard are denoted according to the route, which would be taken when sailing north-west. If a navigation channel following the coast changes of direction port and starboard are given in the line of course following the hands of the clock. Stretches of river that are navigable for sea-going boats are given as if the vessel were sailing upstream.
In the international system starboard side markers are conical; they have a conical top mark and are coloured green. At night they show green lights.
Port side markers are cylindrical; the top mark is cylindrical and they are painted red. At night they show a red light.
If there are a number of the same markers along the lane, which are difficult to distinguish, then they must be signed by numbers or letters. The lights of such markers must differ from the light showing bifurcation of the channel.
Bifurcation of channel and marks denoting the main channel are shown by lateral markers, which are coloured with red and green horizontal stripes. Cylindrical markers (red-green-red) with red cylindrical top mark and red light (flashing in groups 2+1), indicate that the main channel is to the right (markers to be passed on left). Vice versa, cones (green-red-green), top mark green cone and green light (flashing 2+1), denote main channel to left (markers to be left on right).
Beacons in the Cardinal System. The marks of this system show the safe side (quadrant) and the deepest water beside isolated danger point (always offshore). They may be placed as warning of some important navigation point in a channel (a change of direction, a shoal edge, a point where two channels intersect or bifurcate etc.). They may be located at one or several edges in places of danger and bear the designation of the quadrant in which they lie. Cardinal markers must be passed to N, S, E, or W according to which compass point they show, regardless of the direction of sailing. N.B.: The letter for North in Croatia is S (sjever), for South is J (jug), for West is Z (zapad), and for East is I (istok).
Beacons may be anchored buoys or masonry. In shape they may be a post (cylindrical plinth) or spar and are painted in horizontal black and yellow stripes. Their top mark is two black cones. The position of the cones and the kind of light vary according to quadrant as follows: N quadrant both cones pointing up, light quick or very quick white flashes; S both cones pointing down, light quick or very quick white flashes, six in a group separate by a longer white flash and obscurity; E cones base to base, light very quick or quick white flashes in groups of three; W cones point to point, light very quick or quick white flashes in a group of nine.
Beacons of isolated danger. These beacons show that navigation all round the marker is possible. In form the marker is cylindrical with a post, or is a spar; in colour such markers bear black and red horizontal stripes with top mark of two spheres, they may show quick white flashes in a group of two.
Beacons of a new danger. These beacons show a newly discovered hazard not yet on navigation charts or in the List of Lights. Beacons of the lateral or cardinal systems may be used. In the cardinal system the beacon emits short or very short white flashes, in the lateral system the beacon is red or green in colour.
Very important danger. Two identical beacons several tens of metres apart. One of them may have the radar-reflector RACON (Morse sign on the screen about 1 M long).
Safety beacons. These beacons show that the surrounding water is safe for navigation; they indicate the centre of the fairway or channel. These beacons may be used instead of system A to show the safe way towards harbour or shore. In shape they may be spherical or cylindrical, with post or spar and coloured in red and white vertical stripes. The top mark is a red sphere, and there may be white light: isophase, occulting, flashing (every 10 s or Morse code A).
Special informative beacons. They mark a branching of sea-ways, sea-bed exploration or exploitation, the location of automatic meteorological or oceanographic buoys, a zone of naval exercises, position of underwater cables or pipes, sport or recreation zones, garbage disposal zones etc. They have no fixed shape, but must differ from other nautical beacons. They are yellow with a top mark in form of the letter X. They may show a yellow light but of a kind that they might not be confused with any other system of marking.
All the present systems of marking seaways, channels, danger etc. are basic elements of safe navigation. Thus mariners must consult their charts and handbooks with great attention and keep them up-to-date according to the Notice to Mariners.
Navigation lights with their own source of lighting may be shore-based, located on isolated points for navigation direction or anchored buoys. A special place is taken by lighthouses, which have permanent keepers, while coastal lights, harbour lights, and light-buoys are unattended.
Lighthouses are located in all places of importance for navigation or at places of special danger. In construction and colour they differ from the surrounding objects and are therefore important also for daytime navigation. They usually have rotating dioptric lenses, which allows them to emit a powerful light, round the entire horizon. Almost all the lighthouses on the Croatian coast are in radiotelephone contact with centres of information. Almost all important lighthouses emit fog signals, which can be recognized by their characteristic sound pattern (length, number of sounds in a group, intervals between sounds).
Coastal lights are positioned on important points, straits, channels, cliffs, rocks, islets, harbours and port entrances etc. Their function is to facilitate navigation in coastal waters. They have fixed dioptrically lens and are automatically lit and extinguished at sunset and sunrise.
Harbour lights are positioned inside the harbour and at the harbour entrance to facilitate entrance and manoeuvring. They are lit by harbour personnel or automatically.
Light-buoys are floating lights anchored on buoys to show shallows or danger points. Usually they have flashing lights, and are activated by timing mechanism or photocell.
Each light at sea has its own characteristic: colour, character, period, height above sea level, visibility, number and disposition of lights. Detailed information on this is available in the List of Lights and on charts.
The colour of lights is B WHITE (bijela), C RED (crvena), Z GREEN (zelena). When these letters are noted beside the light visibility they denote that light shines continuously. If colour is meant to show the approach to a harbour or through straits then red denotes the left side and green the right side. This however is not always sufficient guide and for individual cases the Adriatic Pilot and List of Lights should be consulted.
Light character shows the way the light is seen: Bl flashing; Bl (Gp) flashing in group (i.e. BBl /3/); Pk occulting; Sj fixed with flashing; Pm alternating etc. The difference between flashing and occulting is that with flashing the light periods are longer than the dark and in occulting the other way round. If the light has a special sector then this is noted beside the character of light. Light sectors denote areas of safety or danger. It cannot be taken for granted that the dark or coloured sector denotes the danger or the safety sector and so each individual case should be separately considered from charts or the List of Lights. Sectors are marked by the abbreviation sect+ beside the letter denoting the colour (e.g. sect C).
Period of light, the interval between the beginning of one series of light signals and the beginning of the next also provides information. In navigation lights special attention should be paid to the time period of the light either with a stopwatch or, after experience, counting the seconds.
Visibility of lights is expressed in nautical miles (M) in which the light can be seen from a position 5 m above the sea level. Distances are given for visibility in normal weather conditions and for clear nights and are entered on charts and in the List of Lights. For example, if the following appears on a chart, B Bl 3 Gp 10 s 16 M or B Bl (3) 10 s 16 M this denotes: white light flashing three in a group, period 10 seconds, light over middle sea-level visibility 16 miles.
These are radio-stations, which transmit signals around the whole horizon. They have exact positions on navigation or radio navigation charts (RC for short). Some radio beacons intended for aircraft may also be used (marked RC Aero). Each radio-beacon has its own station number; name; geographical coordinates; range (mostly about 100 M, local about 20 M); kind of transmission (A1A unmodulated radio wave length; A2A modulated wave length; intermittent radio signals); frequency (standard 285-325 kHz); identification signal; characteristics (Morse signals); times of starting and duration of transmission and whether it works continuously or only at times of limited visibility (fog); whether it is single or one of a group (in the Adriatic are 3 groups). The radio bearing of radio-station can be measured by way of radio direction finder. This bearing is incorrect for radio deviation and the angle of half-convergence of the meridian (for distances in the Adriatic sea are almost negligible). Data of navigation radio beacons are given in the manual of Radio Navigational Service published by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split.
Besides the mariner’s compass, all mariners must have up-to-date maritime charts and the standard equipment for plotting course. Maritime charts provide topographic and hydrographic information. In the upper corner is the name of the chart and general information; in the right bottom corner the chart number; the name of the institution which published it, date of issue, name of institution which drew up the chart (in the middle below the frame of the chart); it also gives the; magnetic rose+ with annual declination (in several places in the hydrographic part); details of; minor corrections+ (left bottom corner); linear measurements in miles (M) and km (in a suitable place on the chart) etc.
Before the chart is used the information in the title should be read carefully.
The charts published by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split give depths and heights in metres, i.e. depths to level of the chart (Chart Datum) and heights from the medium sea level. The State Hydrographic Institute in Split takes as level of the chart the medium height at low water during periods of maximum tidal activity (Mean Lower Water Spring). The sea in the charts is printed in several shades of blue for maximum ease of reading. Depths of less than 5 m are in deep blue, between 510 m in light blue and the rest of the sea section is white.
The scale of the chart is expressed in ratio or fractions (e.g. 1: 100 000 or 1/100 000). Beside the numerical scale the linear scale may also be shown.
The outer border of the chart contains the numerical coordinates of latitude and longitude. Latitude is used in measuring distances (1 M = 1 minute). The length of minutes on the latitude scale of the chart increases as the latitude increases and thus in calculations account must be taken of the position of the vessel. This is because of Mercator’s projection of the chart. Distance cannot be calculated by minutes of longitude.
The magnetic roses, usually found in several places on the chart can be used to plot course and azimuth with aid of parallel rulers or setsquare. Inside the rose numbers of the magnetic declinations (variations) are drawn-in which should be corrected according to year.
The relief of the land sections of the chart is shown in contour lines (horizontals; usually 40 or 20 m apart), by crosshatching or a combination of both, some charts are colour-shaded
All details important for plotting the course but too small to be convincingly shown on the chart have special identification marks. The exact position of details so marked is taken from the middle of the base of the topographic sign or the centre of a circular mark (for cliffs, buoys etc.). With marks for symmetrical objects (churches, floating docks etc.) the exact position is the centre of the mark. The State Hydrographic Institute in Split has published a summary of all marks and shortenings entitled Symbols and Abbreviations on Maritime Charts (Znakovi i kratice na pomorskim kartama).
The largest scale and numerically detailed charts recently published and corrected are the best to use. Authorized sellers of nautical charts are bound to sell charts corrected to the day of sale; mariners must further correct them themselves.
Classification of charts
Charts of the State Hydrographic Institute in Split are divided in three classes: informative, navigational and supplementary. Informative charts give information important for navigation such as currents, meteorological and hydrological details etc. Navigation charts are designed for practical navigation, i.e. the plotting of courses, the plotting of a vessel’s position. According to scale they may be: general, course, coastal charts and plans.
General charts present larger area, of whole seas with their adjacent shores and they are usually small scale. General charts no. 100, 101, 102 show the Adriatic as a whole or in part (scale of 1: 1 000 000 or 1: 750 000. Chart no. 103 shows the Ionian Sea and no. 108 and 109 the Mediterranean Sea (scale 1: 2 500 000) etc.
General charts can be used for navigation outside Croatian territorial sea if the boat’s safety allows it. But their main purpose is to give a more comprehensive view of cruising areas for planning routes and calculating the total distances and duration on the voyage to be covered.
Course charts show smaller areas of sea and include all important details needed for navigation. They are drawn to a scale of 1: 300 000. The course charts of the Adriatic bear the numbers 30031 to 30037.
Coastal charts show in detail smaller stretches of the coast and the basic aids to navigation. Their use is obligatory in the immediate vicinity of the coast, and they contain most of the important details to facilitate the navigation. The newest editions (published by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split) have the number 100 plus an additional number, which denotes the area covered, by the chart (e.g. 10021:SibenikSplit), drawn to a scale of 1: 100 000. They often include in larger scale the plans of certain harbours, anchorages and dangerous or important areas, straits, channels etc.
The State Hydrographic Institute in Split publishes special charts for small craft.
Plans cover small areas, usually ports, harbours and anchorages. They are drawn in great detail and to a larger scale (1: 50 000). They bear separate scales of measurement for longitude and distance, as they do not indicate latitudes and longitudes at border. Supplementary charts are drawn for certain special purposes and are not needed for normal navigation.
Charts cannot be used properly without the necessary navigation equipment. The most important items are navigational triangles (protractor) or parallel (slide) rulers for drawing in the vessel’s course and azimuth, compasses for plotting distances and coordinates, a magnifying glass, a soft pencil and soft eraser.
Even charts cannot supply all the information needed for safety navigation. For this reason the State Hydrographic Institute in Split publishes various navigational handbooks with all the detailed information that cannot for technical reasons be shown on a chart.
The Adriatic Sea Pilot (Polar Jadranskog mora), I E coast, II W coast, provides mariners with various details and information about the Adriatic region, i.e. general hydrographic and hydrologic conditions, general navigation directions, especially for navigating in channels and dangerous areas, details of anchorages and sheltered places, various marks, details of water, fuel and provisions and other important information. The pilot book starts with information on legal regulations concerning navigation, instruction on the use of mariner’s handbook, charts etc.
The Pilot to the Ionian Sea and Maltese Islands (Peljar Jonskog mora i Malteskih otoka) is similar in content.
The List of Lights in the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea and Maltese Islands (Popis svjetionika Jadranskog mora, Jonskog mora, Malteskih otoka) contains all necessary details concerning lighthouses, lights and other important navigation signals.
The Radio-Navigation Service (Radio-navigacijska sluzba) contains all necessary details concerning radio beacons and coastal radio-stations as well as other information, which refer to safety at sea. It is similar to foreign handbooks of the same kind. It has nine parts: A Introduction, B Radio-beacons, C Radio goniometric stations, D Coastal radio-stations, E Radio information for mariners, F Radio health service, G VHF-service, H Exact time (time signals) and I Weather forecast for mariners. All parts include the Adriatic Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Islands of Malta. Parts F and I include the Mediterranean also and part H the whole world. Adriatic Distance Handbook (Daljinar Jadranskog mora) gives the distances in nautical miles between the important coastal ports and harbours on the Adriatic coast. The first part gives the distances between main ports and harbours, anchorages, and places of particular navigational interest. The second part gives distances between smaller harbours and coves arranged in zones.
The Catalogue of Navigation Charts and Publications (Katalog pomorskih karata i navigacijskih publikacija) provides mariners with all information on charts and publications issued by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split. It has an index and a map for selecting the charts needed. The entire Adriatic is divided into quadrangles, which shows the zones covered by the charts. The number in each quadrangle is the chart number.
Notice to Mariners (Oglas za pomorce) is a monthly publication. It gives various kinds of information concerning safety at sea in the Adriatic and in part in the Ionian Sea. Its main aim is to give up-to-date information on any changes that should be incorporated into handbooks or navigation charts published by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split.
Before setting on a cruise masters of vessels should study the handbooks, Pilot and charts carefully and in particular take care that they are up-to-date.
All maritime charts and handbooks can be ordered from the Organization for Maintaining Waterways PLOVPUT in Split or their branch offices in all larger Croatian harbours.
Information service at sea
Croatian maritime radiotelephone service is organized by the PLOVPUT Company in Split. It can be used by vessels with VHF radio-stations (passenger or cargo boats over 300 BRET) and also by yachts, sport and pleasure boats regardless of size if they have a VHF station. The coastal radio-stations at Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik man a continuous service on the international frequencies 2182 kHz and 156 800 MHz (channel 16). Coastal radio stations transmit weather forecasts and reports and provide medical advice. Such services are free. Only commercial and private services are paying.
RIJEKARADIO, 16, 20, 24, 04, 24, 05 35, 14 35, 19 35
SPLITRADIO, 16, 21, 23,28, 04, 07, 21, 23, 28,04, 07, 05 45, 12 45, 19 45
DUBROVNIKRADIO, 16, 07, 07, 06 25, 13 20, 21 20
Harbour master’s offices also operate VHF radio-stations and organize sea search and rescue. Contact is made on channel 16. In addition to channel 16 harbour master’s offices man a continuous service on channel 10 and a continuous daytime service on the same frequency is manned by their branch offices. Marinas have their VHF radio-service on channel 17.
If vessels observe some important event they must immediately notify the coastal radio-station.
Messages by radiotelephone
Coastal radio-stations identify themselves by their geographical name (i.e. SPLITRADIO). The ship’s radio-stations identify themselves by the name of vessel or by the authorized call-signal of the radio-station.
The ship’s radiotelephone service can maintain contact only with vessels, which have their own radio operator.
Vessels in principle transmit and receive open messages concerning safety at sea and maritime traffic in general. They may however send and receive personal messages and communicate with per sons on shore or on other vessels.
The maritime movable service operates on the frequencies 1605…4000 kHz and 156…162 MHz. For vessels (boats) sailing in the Adriatic a VHF radiotelephone station is sufficient (frequency 156162 MHz).
Croatian vessels and coastal radio-stations use the national language and English. Exceptionally in cases where understanding causes difficulties the message may be coded in International Signal Code (ISC) and International Regulations Concerning the Exchange of Messages at Sea should be adhered to.
For details see Radio-Navigation Service and other manuals published by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split.
To simplify the transmission and reception of messages by radio telephone The Standard Maritime Vocabulary IMO (Standardni pomorsko-navigacijski rjecnik, published by [Skolska knjiga in Zagreb) is recommended.
Passage from open messages to coded text is denoted by the words; Please use the international code of signals+ or the signal group YU (Yankee Uniform), from ISC.
The procedure for radio messages depends on the type of message concerned: general messages or those where safety at sea or urgency is involved.
Special attention must be given to the following signals:
MAYDAY indicates that sender is in danger and requires immediate help;
PAN PAN the sender wishes to send an urgent message;
SECURITY the sender is about to transmit a message concerning safety at sea or important weather information;
MEDICO medical advice needed;
Other messages concern: radio-position of vessels, radio navigation information, weather report, movements and needs of vessels, official messages, etc.
At sea constant monitoring (watch service) of international frequency 2182 kHz must be maintained. VHF-stations call on frequency 156 800 MHz (channel 16).
Transmission. Coastal radiotelephone stations call vessels of their own nationality on any of the authorized radio frequencies. If they call a vessel of foreign registration or a particular vessel of their own nationality they use the international radio frequency 2182 kHz; VHF radio-stations call on frequency 156 800 (channel 16). The same rules hold for calls from vessels to coastal stations Vessels call other vessels on radio frequency 2182 kHz or 156 800 MHz (channel 16)
Replying. If the transmitting radiotelephone station did not provide the frequency for reply then the reply is given on the transmission frequency. The receiving station may suggest another frequency. In the cases of misunderstanding the coastal station is the deciding factor. If there is misunderstanding between vessels it is the station that originally transmitted that sets the frequency for replies also.
Sending messages. After radio contact has been established the message is sent on one of the authorized frequencies. Frequencies exclusively intended for calling (especially frequency 2182 kHz and 156 800 MHz) should only be used for sending messages concerned with danger at sea.
These are transmitted by coastal radio-stations and concern safety at sea (e.g. alterations of lights or navigational signs, floating wreck, danger zones etc.). Navigational lights are divided into 16 zones identified by numbers. The Mediterranean (including the Adriatic) is coordinated from Spain (AREA III: MADRID NAVAL RADIO, short. EBA)
Messages are preceded by NAVAREA followed by the number of the zone and the number of the message in the current calendar year. Open messages are sent (in the language of the coastal station and then in English) on designated frequencies, at designated times and at a vessel’s request. They are repeated in regular radio-transmissions until cancelled, loss of relevance or publication in Notice to Mariners. In cases of imminent maritime danger radio messages are transmitted urgently on the international frequencies 2182 kHz and 156 800 MHz (channel 16) and repeated after the next silent period (2182 kHz). They are preceded by SECURITY. Vessels that observe anything dangerous notify all vessels on the same frequencies and the coastal stations with which they are in contact and notify their frequency (channel).
In recent years the NAVTEX system is increasingly used. This operates on frequency 518 kHz and reception is possible up to 400 M. NAVTEX is particularly suitable for small vessels. Information in English is given in descriptive form (similar to telefax). Besides navigational warnings important for safety at sea messages may be received important for hyperbolic and satellite navigation systems. SPLITRADIO transmits NAVTEX messages at 0250, 0650, 1050, 1850 and 2250 UTC.
Radio-notices relevant for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas are given in Notice to Mariners (Oglas za pomorce).
For more details consult manual of the Radio-Navigation Service published by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split.
The international radio-medical centre in Rome (CIRM) organizes this service for vessels at sea. Medical advice is given and the organization of reception of invalids and their transfer to hospital for medical assistance irrespective of nationality and sailing area. Medical messages may be sent in the CIRM code or open.
Medical advice may also be received from some coastal stations (in Croatia and Italy from all). In urgent cases messages must include the signal RADIOMEDICAL and the place (i.e. RADIOMEDICAL SPLITRADIO). In other cases MEDICO may be used. The message should contain a short account of the accident or symptoms. It may be in open text or coded according to the international signal code (medical section) and is signed by the shipmaster. Such messages are free.
For further details see Radio-Navigation Service manual published by the State Hydrographic Institute in Split. Exchange of spoken messages (by megaphone)
Megaphones (simple horn or solid-state) may be used for exchange of messages when vessels are within hailing distance. The principles of sending such messages are the same as radiotelephone messages.
Morse signalling with lights
This can be done with a hand torch or a light from the mast. The standard speed is about 40 letters a minute. Care must be taken of the pauses between dots and dashes of the letter (very short), between letters (slightly longer) and between words (slightly longer again). Messages may be in open text or in code according to International Signals Convention. Instead of a period the word STOP may be sent.
Sound signalling is slow and today is seldom practised. Sound signals in Morse Code are allowed only in accordance with the Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea.
Vessel (yacht) driven by mechanical propulsion which change course show their intention by:
one short blast meaning ;I am turning to starboard+ (right);
2 short blasts ;I am turning to port (left)+;
3 short blasts ;I am going astern+.
If two vessels are near each other and not sure of each other’s movements either must show uncertainty by 5 short quick blasts. A vessel (yacht) sailing in a narrow channel and wishing to overtake the vessel in front of it may signal her intention by: two long and one short blasts if intending to overtake on the starboard side;
two long and two short blasts if intending to overtake on the port side.
The vessel to be overtaken signals agreement by giving a long followed by a short blast twice repeated.
If a vessel (yacht) is approaching a bend in a channel or river, not easy to survey, it signals its presence by one long blast. Any approaching vessel will answer in the same way.
When sailing in limited visibility (fog, mist, strong rain) a vessel longer than 12 m sends the following sound signals:
a vessel (yacht) with mechanical propulsion, one long signal with intervals shorter than 2 minutes (while moving), i.e. 2 long signals in the intervals of 2 seconds (the engine is stopped and the vessel is not moving);
a vessel with limited manoeuvring capability, a sailing boat, a fishing-craft, a tug boat, 1 long and 2 short signals in intervals shorter of 2 minutes;
an anchored ship, quick bell-ringing (above 5 seconds) in intervals shorter than 1 minute (warning signal short long short);
a wrecked vessel, 3 separate bell ringing and a sound signal like an anchored vessel;
a tug-boat, as any other, can give 4 short signals.
A vessel (yacht) shorter of 12 m is not bound to follow the given regulations, but must give efficacious sound signals in intervals shorter than 2 minutes.
Flag signalling is done according to International Signalling Code (ISC). The messages are regularly coded. A signal can be a letter or a figure or a combination of both. More significant of the general (ISC) are: Danger-Urgency. Trouble-Damage.
Navigation-Hydrography. Manoeuvring. Various. Meteorology Weather. Connection. International Health Regulations. A section on medicine is separate.
LETTER = A (Alpha)
MEANING OF LETTER = I have divers below water; keep wide berth or go dead-slow
LETTER = B (Bravo)
MEANING OF LETTER = I am loading, unloading, transporting dangerous cargo
LETTER = C (Charlie)
MEANING OF LETTER = Yes (affirmative answering signal)
LETTER = D (Delta)
MEANING OF LETTER = Give me wide berth, I have difficulty in manoeuvring
LETTER = E (Echo)
MEANING OF LETTER = I am changing course to starboard (turning to the right)
LETTER = F (Foxtrot)
MEANING OF LETTER = I am disabled, retain contact with me
LETTER = G (Golf)
MEANING OF LETTER = I need a pilot (for fishing vessels: I am raising my nets)
LETTER = H (Hotel)
MEANING OF LETTER = I have a pilot aboard
LETTER = I (India)
MEANING OF LETTER = I am changing course to port (turning on the left)
LETTER = J (Juliette)
MEANING OF LETTER = I am on fire and have dangerous cargo; keep wide berth
LETTER = K (Kilo)
MEANING OF LETTER = I am trying to make contact with you (signal for need to pass message)
LETTER = L (Lima)
MEANING OF LETTER = Stop immediately
LETTER = M (Mike)
MEANING OF LETTER = I have stopped and am making no way
LETTER = N (November)
MEANING OF LETTER = No (negative reply)
LETTER = O (Oscar)
MEANING OF LETTER = Man overboard
LETTER = P (Papa)
MEANING OF LETTER = At sea: my nets have snagged (for fishing-boat). On shore: all men aboard, we are about to sail
LETTER = Q (Quebec)
MEANING OF LETTER = Health on board OK. I am asking free passage
LETTER = R (Romeo)
MEANING OF LETTER = Passage beside me free, can you pass
LETTER = S (Sierra)
MEANING OF LETTER = My stern engines are working
LETTER = T (Tango)
MEANING OF LETTER = Keep your distance, I am towing/trawling
LETTER = U (Uniform)
MEANING OF LETTER = You are sailing into danger
LETTER = V (Victor)
MEANING OF LETTER = I need help
LETTER = W (Whiskey)
MEANING OF LETTER = I need a doctor
LETTER = X (X-ray)
MEANING OF LETTER = Stop what you are undertaking and watch for my signals
LETTER = Y (Yankee)
MEANING OF LETTER = I am dragging anchor (for Croatian naval vessels: I am leaving/entering port)
LETTER = Z (Zulu)
MEANING OF LETTER = I need a tug (for fishing-boats: I am letting down my nets)
Important two-letter signals denoting danger or accidents
LETTERS = AE I am abandoning ship
LETTERS = AL I have a doctor aboard
LETTERS = AN I need a doctor
LETTERS = CB I need help urgently
LETTERS = CC I am in danger (then give position)
LETTERS = CP I am coming to help you
LETTERS = CS What is the name of your boat
LETTERS = CV I cannot help you
LETTERS = DX I am sinking (then give position)
LETTERS = IT Fire aboard
LETTERS = JG I have run aground and am in danger
LETTERS = JM I have run aground but am not in danger
LETTERS = KF I need a tug
LETTERS = KG Do you need a tug
LETTERS = KM Can I tow you
LETTERS = KN I cannot tow you
LETTERS = VC Where is the nearest fuel
LETTERS = VD You can get fuel at…
LETTERS = VK Storm imminent from…
LETTERS = XW Happy journey
The rules of avoiding collision at sea
The following regulations apply to vessels sailing on the high seas and in internal seaways.
Power-driven vessels (boats) are all those which are moved by mechanical propulsion.
Sailing vessels (yacht) are all those which can move by use of sail.
A vessel is considered to be under way if it is not anchored, moored or beached. When sailing at night vessels must show port, starboard, mast and stern lights.
Vessels are considered to have limited manoeuvrability when they are: engaged in work on underwater cables or pipes or with navigation buoys (marks); engaged in dredging or underwater work; loading or unloading persons, cargo or fuel; mine layers at work; tugs or boats towing and unable to manoeuvre to avoid collision.
Navigation lights must be alight from sunset to sunrise, and by day in conditions of poor visibility. Marks need only be shown by day.
White mast light must be visible in sector 112.5° port and starboard of the bows. In vessels 20 m and more the light must be 6 m above the hull. If the vessel is more than 6 m wide, her height is greater than her width but not more than 12 m. In vessels 1220 m in length their height above the bulwarks must not be less than 2.5 m. In vessels less than 12 m the mast light must be at least 1 m above the sidelights.
Port and starboard lights must be visible from the bows in the same way as the mast light: green to starboard (right) and red to port (left). On vessels 20 m and more the sidelights must not be forward of the front mast light. Combined green-red lights on vessels shorter than 20 m must be at least 1 m below the mast light.
White stern light must be visible at stern sector 135° (67.5° on each side).
Vessel towing another vessel shows a yellow light with the same characteristics as the stern light. The yellow light is positioned vertically above the stern light.
ZPODMANJI = Light visibility
Vessels 50 m and more: white mast 6 M; side lights, stern light and towing light 3 M.
Vessel 1250 m: mast 5 M (vessels less than 20 m 3 M), side lights, stern light and towing light 2M.
Vessel (boat) less than 12 m: mast light, stern light and towing lights 2 M, side lights 1 M.
Coloured lights (red, green, yellow) that give light to the whole horizon 2 M.
Boats less than 7 m do not need to have navigation lights but must be prepared to show their position at night at least temporarily by showing a white light.
Rules for avoiding collision of power-driven vessels
When two power-driven vessels approach each other from opposite directions and a collision seems possible each should veer to starboard (right).
When the courses of two power-driven vessels cross and collision seems possible the vessel that can see the other to starboard (right) must change the course, but must not cross the bows of the other vessel.
When a power-driven vessel seems on collision course with a sailing boat the power-driven vessel must give way.
A vessel about to overtake from astern must pass the vessel on the most suitable side.
ZPODMANJI = Rules for avoiding collision of sailing-vessels
When two sail-driven vessels seem on collision course:
the vessel with wind from port (left) must change course;
if both vessels are running before the wind then the vessel on the leeward side must give way;
if the vessel to windward cannot judge the situation with certainty then she must give way to the vessel on the leeward side;
In some navigation situations vessels must give sound signals (see Sound signalling).
Avoiding Collision in Ports and in Internal Sea Waters
Small vessels (boats) give way to larger vessels. Vessels (boats) entering port, river or narrow channel must not hinder vessels coming out.
The vessel that has advantage in manoeuvring must warn with 5 short and quick signals the other craft that are not following the rules.
Fishing boats are not allowed to fish in ports by means of lights and in places difficult for sailing, they may use only shaded lights. If they are not following the rules they have to switch off the lights when warned by other vessels.
Signalling for help at sea
SHOTS at one minute intervals given from fire-arms or any other explosive device.
CONSTANT SOUND given in any way.
ROCKETS or FLARES which throw up red lights ignited at short intervals.
ROCKETS WITH PARACHUTE DEVICE or red HAND FLARES.
FLAMES from lighted pitch or oil barrels.
Orange SMOKE SIGNALS.
SOS signal (…) transmitted by radio-telegraph or in any other way.
MAYDAY signal in open text over radio-telephone.
Signal-flags NC (International Signals Code) flown on the mast or in some other conspicuous position.
RECTANGULAR FLAG with some circular object like a bell either above or below it flown on the mast or other most conspicuous position.
OUTSTRETCHED ARMS moved slowly downwards from above.
Radio-telegraph or radio-telephone ALARM SIGNAL.
Flying of flags and exhibition of signs by vessels of the Croatian merchant navy
The flag of the Croatian merchant navy is identical with that of the Republic of Croatia. It is flown from the stern flagstaff or the gaff, i.e. on the mast (the right yard arm). It is normally flown from sunrise to sunset when clearly identifiable: while entering or leaving port, while staying in a port or an anchorage, in sight of naval vessels, fortifications or signal (observing) stations, while exchanging messages (signalling), while navigating through channels or narrow straits, in foreign territorial seas and internal waters as well as on demand by another vessel (station). When entering port between sunset and sunrise the flag has to be lowered after having received permission to establish contact with the shore.
Vessels (yachts) booked in the registers of the Republic of Croatia may fly the flag of their city, port of register, region or “zupanija” (district) on their bow mast or flagstaff. When entering the territorial sea of a foreign country they replace it with the flag of that country as a sign of respect.
A naval vessel of the Republic of Croatia is paid respect to by lowering the flag to one-third of the mast. The flag is raised again after the naval vessel has replied in the same manner (by lowering and raising the flag).
On festive occasions, state holidays or if so demanded by a harbour master’s office, vessels (yachts) are solemnly dressed (gala). A small ornamentation (gala) consists of the flag of the Republic of Croatia flown on the stern flag-staff, a flag on the bow (the flag of the city or port of register or that of the region or “zupanija” /district of domicile/, and a flag on the mast (either the flag of the Republic of Croatia or of a club).
A large ornamentation (gala) dressing consists of the flags used for small ornamentation plus strings of International Signals Code flags suspended from the bow flagstaff over the masthead to the stern flagstaff.
State flag is flown at half flagstaff as a sign of mourning.
Vessels of foreign register act in a similar way except that they fly the flag of the country of register instead of the Croatian flag.