Keeping it safe

With the high season at the door, Croatian Ministry of Sea reminds all yachtsmen, as well as swimmers, divers and surfers, of careful and responsible behaviour. Even though the number of accidents and deaths at sea in 2006 was significantly smaller compared to the year 2005, extra caution is always necessary.

The most important thing yachtsmen are always reminded to is to listen to weather forecasts and keep track of the weather changes, as well as to adjust their navigation to their experience and skills. Skippers are also advised to renew their knowledge from time to time, especially if they don’t spend much time on board throughout the rest of the year.

Inexperience is a major cause of accidents, but much of them are due to poor yacht equipment, as well as irresponsible behaviour. Obeying marine rules and regulations is of the utmost importance for maintaining safety at sea.

To keep the swimmers’ and divers’ safety, larger motor yachts are prohibited to ride within 150 m (492 ft) of the shore, and smaller boats and sailing yachts within 50 m (165 ft). The assigned distance for powerboats and vessels propelled by water jets is 300 m (984 ft), and that is only if they aren’t completely forbidden in the area. The exceptions are made when entering a harbour or approaching an anchorage or a shore, but in these situations it is required to slow down, to enable easier manoeuvring.

The seat of Croatian maritime Search and Rescue Organisation is in Rijeka, and there is a 24-hour-on-call service. In case of distress at sea, the number you need to call is 9155. But, following the rules and acting responsibly is usually enough to avoid all troubles.