Driving a Speedboat? Slow Down Before Someone Gets Killed

Total Croatia News

When I was younger, I used to spend my summers at a magical little place in Istria. By place, I mean a land plot owned by my family that we used to improvise a campsite, and we enjoyed a Robinson-type vacation each year. The site is situated near a small charming bay, and I’m not disclosing the location as the beach in question gets more crowded each summer anyway, so I’m trying to salvage what’s left of its anonymity.

One of the things I remember most vividly is sitting on the rocky beach and observing various boats gently gliding from the open sea into the bay, cautiously slowing down as they were nearing the shore. Those boats and dinghies were mostly owned by locals or the owners of other land parcels in the area – men of the sea with decades of experience and a calm head on their shoulders.

There was also that other type of boat owners, though, whose head I could describe with a range of colourful adjectives, calm not being one of them. Those were the people that usually drove speedboats – more powerful the engine, the better – and for some reason, they had a bewildering notion they were going to impress the audience by sprinting into the bay, zooming their way to the beach. The fact that the bay was full of people and children swimming and playing didn’t seem to be a concern, as the pesky little swimmers were seen only as obstacles anyway. They were the ones that should move and make way for them to show off.

Their egos probably soared above the waves along with their boats, but their inflated sense of self wasn’t impressing anyone and definitely wasn’t in line with the conversation on the beach.

– Jesus, look at that idiot.
– He’s going to kill someone. Why isn’t he slowing down?
– Nah, he thinks he’s the man, has to show off. 
– Men.

(Okay, that last one might seem like generalising, but come to think of it, never have I seen a woman at the helm of a powerboat going full speed towards a beach full of people.)

Two things happened in the last couple of days that had those childhood memories resurfacing: one, there was an incident in Dramalj when a powerboat crashed into a wooden tourist boat and then proceeded to sprint towards the beach, crashing into the shore and injuring two people. We wrote about it here.

The other is a recent event reported by Slobodna Dalmacija: members of the Marine Police Zadar caught two tourists on a speedboat near the islet of Žavinac Veli, sprinting too close to the shore on Wednesday, June 28. The Czech and the Pole were forced to pay a fine of 1100 kuna, ending up pretty lucky as the maximum fine for such an offence is 2000 kuna. If you asked me, I would raise it way higher, as you’re endangering your life, the lives of other people on the boat, the lives of people in the water and on the shore, and last but not least, the boat you’re driving that’s often someone else’s property. Why? For the thrill of it? There’s the open sea for you – we have more than enough sea surface for you to feel the wind in your hair and put that boat engine to the test. To show off to the spectators? Have fun explaining yourself when you run over someone’s kid. Wouldn’t those 1100 be better spent on a delicious seafood dinner and a bottle of fine wine?

In case you see someone speeding too close to the shore, make sure to report it and film it if you have a smartphone or a camera at hand. And if you get a chance to try out a speedboat during your stay in Croatia, be sensible. Once you get closer to a beach or enter one of the smaller bays, slow down to make sure you and everyone around you stay safe. You don’t want your vacation ruined over a couple of minutes of excitement, don’t you?


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