Rafting for the Blind on Mrežnica Was Held for the First Time

Rafting for the Blind on Mrežnica Was Held for the First Time
Boris Scitar/Vecernji list/PIXSELL

August 22, 2021 - With the expert guidance of specially trained, professional skippers from Croatia Open Land Tours DMC, a unique experience took place as rafting for the blind was held on the Mrežnica River for the first time, with the participation of members of the Association of the Blind USKA.

As told by Turističke Priče, Blind people Mirsad Bećirović and Elena Mrkonja embarked on a rafting adventure on Mrežnica under the expert guidance of Krešo Rogoz, director and owner of Croatia Open Land, and skippers Hrvoje Pupić and Filip Ferderber who are trained in safe behavior on wild waters under the WRT Pro Rescue 3 license and have experience working with people with disabilities.

For the first time, blind people tried the experience of rafting down Mrežnica, a river that is suitable for boating due to the many waterfalls and is tame enough to be acceptable for the descent of people with disabilities.

The adventure on Mrežnica began with a detailed explanation of the descent, giving all the necessary information about rafting for the blind and of course detailed safety instructions. In each boat, there was one skipper and one blind person who went through a tour of about two hours together and showed that rafting is accessible to people with disabilities, especially people with visual impairments.

Rafting adapted for the blind involves extensive conversation while riding, and the skippers described the flora and fauna of the beautiful Mrežnica and its waterfalls, surrounded by river canyons and beech and hornbeam forests. For the blind, it was an exceptional experience they experienced through all the other senses - through the scents of nature, the warmth of the sun, the sound of waterfalls, the swaying of the waves, the splashing of drops, and all the other sensations that make boating.

Of course, blind people also rowed together all the time, while they were accompanied by a seeing companion Sanja Jakić from the Association of the Blind USKA. This unique collaboration between Croatia Open Land Tours DMC and the Association of the Blind USKA is another step in pushing the boundaries in the lives of people with disabilities and their inclusion in sports and recreational activities and all segments of life.

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