Croatian Navy to Participate in Traditional ”Maraton Lađa” For First Time

Lauren Simmonds

The 22nd ”Maraton lađa” on the Neretva river will see the participation of the Croatian Navy (Hrvatska Ratna Mornarica) for the very first time, those participating will be from the new HRM unit stationed in Ploče.

As Morski writes on the 9th of August, 2019, the 22nd Maraton lađa, which will be held on Saturday, August the 10th, 2019, will be further enriched with the participation of the Croatian Navy for the first time. The crew of the Croatian Navy who will partake consists of sixteen members.

In addition to the successful conduct of exercises and training activities, the Croatian Navy’s members have been intensively preparing to participate in Neretva’s traditional Maraton lađa since back in April this year. As part of their preparations for this boat marathon, the Croatian Navy team also participated in a series of preliminary races, including one in Zagreb, far from the Neretva river.

The participation of the Croatian Navy in the ship marathon is held in light of last year’s return of the Croatian Army to the Neretva valley in southern Dalmatia.

Namely, since September 2018, a new barrack has been in function in Ploče, which houses the newly established unit, which has also provided the Croatian Navy with some new capabilities.

The return of the Croatian Armed Forces to southern Croatia is a function of security and assistance to the local community, civilian institutions, and the local population. In this sense, the initiative and active participation of the Croatian Navy’s members in Maraton lađa came from the perspective of the development of close cooperation and cohabitation of the Croatian Army and the people from which the Croatian Army actually originated.

The Neretva river’s traditional boat marathon is a cultural, sporting and tourist event and competition organised by the Association of the Neretva boatmen, which preserves the tradition and identity of the southern Croatian people who are from the areas in and around the Neretva valley in Dalmatia. The competition is conducted from the town of Metković to Ploče, on a route which is 22.5 kilometres in length.

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