HGSS to Tourists: We’ve Been Messing with Natural Selection Since 1950

Lauren Simmonds

The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) has become very well known over the last couple of years for their amusing, sarcastic social media posts aimed at foreign tourists visiting Croatia who fancy themselves as mountain climbers, hikers and long distance swimmers during the sweltering July and August heat.

While HGSS’s reign has mainly been on Facebook and Twitter, with numerous funny, perhaps slightly passive aggressive posts from the team of tireless volunteers who save many a foreign tourists from sticky situations which could have ended horribly each and every year, it seems that they’ve taken to new extremes when it comes to issuing their comedy-clad warnings.

Taking special aim at their favourite selection of people, those in flip-flops, HGSS has decided to go one step further than social media, and has placed giant billboards along busy main roads to warn would-be bravehearts against being heroes.

As Morski writes on the 3rd of July, 2019, HGSS doesn’t just post comical statuses and photos, but saves hundreds of lives per year, particularly during the height of the summer tourist season, and also invests heavily in prevention. What better way to prevent a potentially horrendous accident or death than with enormous billboards and signs placed along the roads used by hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists who have driven to Croatia for their holidays?

“Dear tourists, we have been messing with natural selection since 1950, at least you could play along and take care of yourselves and others,” reads the poster, accompanies by an illustration of a well-trained and properly equipped hiker, with the more serious statement included, that clothing for such ventures should ideally be watertight.

On the other billboard, a very simple message for would-be summer “hikers” reads: “We respect you, please respect yourselves and hike responsibly.” Along with a drawing of water bottles, battery lamps and fully charged mobile phone batteries.

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