51 Islands, 1 Swimmer, 1 Promise: the RokOtok Press Conference

By 1 October 2022
The fish and the ginger - Ribafish and Kasandra
The fish and the ginger - Ribafish and Kasandra

October 1, 2022 - Quite simply, the most phenomenal and positive event in Croatia these past four years - Domagoj 'Ribafish' Jakopovic holds a press conference to present the results of RokOtok 2022. A quite sensational afternoon. 

I don't go to many press conferences as they are usually really quite dull, but when you get the call from Ribafish, you know it is going to be something special. And so it was, pints in hand someone deep inside the truly outstanding Vintage Industrial Bar, that we came to listen to the man who delivered just the most inspiring project I have come across in my 20 years in Croatia. 

From tragedy to triumph. A father and son who loved the Adriatic and decided that they would visit each of Croatia's 51 inhabited islands. And they made a start until tragically, 12-year-old Rok died. A heartbroken father determined to fulfil the promise made. After scattering Rok's ashes in their beloved Adriatic close to their favourite beach on Korcula, Domagoh Jakopovic embarked on a three-year (four due to the pandemic) project to swim with Rok between each of the 51 inhabited islands, starting close to Dubrovnik and heading right to the north. 

It is a story we have reported on a lot over the years (you can see TCN's coverage here), and the final chapter took place yesterday after Ribafish held a press conference to present the results of the projects to sponsors and the media. It was a quite brilliant and heartwarming overview of this most personal of journeys, paying tribute to the many people he met on his marathon journey. One can only imagine how many thousands of young minds he has inspired, both with this journey and the education chats on nature and the environment he held on every island. 


A truly inspiring figure, and one I am thrilled to announce will be a guest on the TCN video podcast series in a couple of months. We will talk of course about RotOtok, but also the legendary Ilicki beer and rakija Marathon along Zagreb's longest street, curling in Slavonski Brod, the craft gin scene in Croatia, and a host of other topics.

Bravo Riba, I am proud to know you, and we are looking forward to the next chapter. And now, the press release in full. 


In Zagreb's Vintage Industrial Pub, a press conference was held on the occasion of the completion of the third phase of the #RokOtok project of swimming to all 50 Croatian inhabited islands

Zagreb, September 30, 2022. - The assembled guests and journalists were greeted by Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish, president of the association, professor of geography and food blogger, in front of the RokOtok Association, in the popular Vintage club in Zagreb this Friday. Through films, pictures and a presentation, the fifty guests present learned how the #RokOtok project was carried out on the last 17 of the 50 islands, i.e. what it was like to swim, connect people and islands, give lectures, clean beaches and socialize with more than 2,200 girls and boys from Vir to Krk.


Throughout July 2022, the crew on board and associated members of the Association on land in cooperation with Tourist Boards, Ministries, Port Captains and Administrations, the Red Cross, the Police and all others with whom they met and communicated during the trip, achieved numerous wonderful moments and made people's time spent on the most beautiful sea in the world even more beautiful. Overall, over three years of the project (one year there was no swimming due to the lockdown), over 6,000 children received their gift bags at public gatherings at 54 lectures on all 50 inhabited islands. More than 210 kilometers were swum; more than 200 people swam with Ribafish, and the longest sections were Mljet - Korčula and Hvar - Vis, when more than 18,000 meters were swum.


During the press conference, Ribafish emphasized that he is indescribably grateful to everyone who supported and continues to support the idea of ​​RokOtok in any way and reminded that the most important thing is to fulfill the promises we made and to go out into nature with as much enthusiasm as possible in order to save our only planet from excessive pollution.

"For the colder part of the year, visits to schools on the continent, cleaning campaigns and a large campaign of visits to all schools on the islands with lectures, gifts and cleaning campaigns are planned, and for September 2023, the screening of the documentary film RokOtok and the promotion of the book "RokOtok - Sailing of a Promise" Ribafish finished, who, as he himself emphasized, is "out of action" for another month due to the rupture of the biceps tendon of his right hand.


The association would like to thank all the sponsors, donors and "Little People" without whom the #RokOtok project would not have been possible. Once again a deep bow: Sportvision Hrvatska, RBA, HTZ, Rio Mare, Hyundai, Adriatic Osiguranje, Offertissima, UHU, Procter&Gamble, Boris Šuljić Boškinac, Olival, Školska Knjiga, Rubor Autoservis, Filburg, Vintage Industrial Bar, Pivnica Medvedgrad, Insako, Pašmanero , Lareto Food, Offset hr, and many others...
About new information and announcements, more in January 2023.


Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish
Association RokOtok

Mob. 091 5558788