Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Split Policemen Rescue Tangled Dolphin Near Ciovo (PHOTOS)

October 27, 2021 - Not the everyday mission as Split policemen rescue a tangled dolphin just off the coast of Ciovo. 

The commander of the Split police vessel, Mate Merčep, and his two fellow police officers (Marko Tadić and Jure Katavić) from the Split-Dalmatia Police Department set out to monitor the state border towards Vis on Tuesday morning. However, a sudden call for help diverted them eight kilometers from their route, report Slobodna Dalmacija.

The policemen turned the vessel around and embarked on a new mission - rescuing a two-meter long and 70-kilogram dolphin, which they untangled from a net near Ciovo for about forty minutes.

"The fishers noticed a wounded and helpless dolphin and informed the 112 Center, and they informed us. If we had arrived half an hour later, the dolphin would not have been alive. He was wrapped in ropes that inflicted deep wounds on his body, so he didn't even move from helplessness. That bundle of ropes damaged the back of his fin, and about fifty meters of rope were wrapped around him," they said. 

Marko Tadić went down to the ship's edge and carefully tore those ropes after the three lured the dolphin to the boat.

"The dolphin received us as if he felt we wanted to help him. He was calm the whole time, and I guess he couldn't be any different since he was exhausted. Who knows when the poor thing got entangled in a fishing line? Maybe it was five hours, and maybe it was a couple of days, we don’t know that. While I was slowly cutting the ropes around the dolphin, I was careful not to cut the rope with which my two colleagues held the dolphin," Marko said.


Split-Dalmatia County Police Department

"The dolphin jerked a little because he thought we had released him, but it didn’t go that fast. A professor from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb helped us with advice and guided us on the phone. He told us that when the dolphin breathes and dives several times, then he can swim away. That's how it was in the end," Katavić and Merčep added.

In March 2019, Merčep was on a similar animal rescue mission, saving a Maltese dog that was drowning in the cold in the Lora area.

"Now he is housed in Kaštela, and I am thrilled that he is safe and warm," said Merčep.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Illegal Construction on Čiovo Stopped in Just Two Days!

June 8, 2021 - Illegal construction on Čiovo near Trogir was stopped in just two days, a rare occurrence in The Beautiful Croatia. 

It seems that the efficiency of the state authorities' reaction to the devastation and construction without a permit on the maritime domain is finally visible, as illegal construction on Čiovo Island was stopped in just two days! 

Namely, construction without "paperwork" in Arbanija was stopped in what seems like record time, and, as Slobodna Dalmacija finds out, Polish citizens were in focus. 

The disputed interventions were reported to the county application "Pomorsko je dobro". Everything was forwarded to the inspection of the Ministry of the Sea, then to the State Attorney's Office, the Construction Inspection, and the Port Authority. 

The foreigners obviously understood and were convinced by numerous examples that there is not much order in the country and began demolishing and building without a permit and occupying the beaches.

"Massive works are taking place without a permit at the address Cesta domovinske zahvalnosti 101 in Arbanija. We checked in the Administrative Department for Urbanism and Physical Planning in Trogir that investors do not have a permit for works of this scope, nor do they have a registered construction site. It is an extension of a large annex in front of the existing building, on an area of ​​more than 120 square meters, on the beach not a meter and a half from the sea, spreading to the area of ​​maritime property - the beach!

Along the way, they entered someone else's property by tearing down someone else's wall, totally exposing the backyard of neighbors living in Germany. They thus exposed their belongings in the yard to possible theft because they tore down the wall and protective fence, without permission, and with an explicit written ban on demolishing that wall by the owner of the neighboring plot," reads the letter of concerned citizens, who add this :

"The current owners and contractors are Poles, who have only recently bought a house, the new owner of the house is a company from the Czech Republic, with one employee! The owner is the company "New generation sicars and service". They came to Croatia without any respect for our country, our regulations, laws, and inhabitants. We have forwarded the reports to everyone and we ask you for supervision and investigation in order to protect the maritime domain and prevent devastation and unauthorized changes to the maritime domain."

The County Department of Maritime Affairs and Tourism, headed by the elected Deputy Mayor Stipe Čogelj, in cooperation with the Mayor of Trogir, Ante Bilić, sent a municipal warden to the scene.

"We were on the field, made a report and stopped the works and fenced the construction site with tape. The owner of the property is a company from Poland, and the work was also done by Poles, alleged friends of the owner, who disappeared from the construction site as soon as we showed up. They do not have the necessary permits and papers for the buildings where the works were found, while the house as a separate unit is legalized. The pool should not even be located there because the boundary of the maritime domain has not been determined. They submitted additional documents to us, but none of that covers the works, so we are sending a construction inspection," said the city administration of Trogir.

Fortunately, not only was this taken care of but everything was brought to an even larger institution - the Ministry of the Sea, so the employees of the Port Authority of Split were ordered from the relevant headquarters to go out on the field:

"Please, on the basis of the application, perform an inspection, suspend further construction on the maritime domain, and prohibit the use and economic use, place an official prohibition sign, all in accordance with Article 43 of the Port Authorities Act!

All institutions, from the local, regional, and state level, reacted efficiently and quickly, with united forces, and now, after the ban on the works, we are waiting for the famous one - the return to its original state!

For more on business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Trogir, a Tourist Destination Transformed Thanks to the Ciovo Bridge

February 29, 2020 - As tourist destinations grapple with more and more tourist traffic, how the new Ciovo bridge returned Trogir to its former glory without the Ciovo traffic. 

The Dalmatian coast is blessed with seemingly endless picturesque stone, walled towns and cities, each one a must-see - Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Primosten, Sibenik and Zadar, to name but a few. But come back in the peak season, and the experience will be somewhat different. As much as I love Omis and all its fascinating history, I have better things to do with my summer than sitting in traffic trying to get there, and Dubrovnik is not an option for me after late May. And until two summers ago, there was another name that I would have included in that list of gorgeous destinations to be avoided in peak season.

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The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir. 

But that all changed in the summer of 2018. 

Just a few minutes from Split Airport, and the ideal welcome and departure overnight stay for a Dalmatian holiday with no airport transfer stress, the old town of Trogir is one of Croatia's cutest and most compact heritage destinations. Itself a small island, its tourism fate has been inextricably linked to the larger island of Ciovo in recent decades. Tourism in Ciovo has exploded in recent years, and there has been considerable construction of new apartments, with the only access by land across the small Venetian bridge next to Trogir old town.   

The result was tourism chaos, huge queues, and much frustration for those heading to Ciovo and Trogir alike.

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This 1962 photo above is a nice comparison to the more recent one below. The lovely old town of Trogir has not changed that much at all in almost 60 years, while across the water on Ciovo, the tourism expansion has been significant. 

The one thing that certainly did not change, despite decades of talk and promises, was the infrastructure. The only Ciovo bridge access was the small original crossing. If another solution could be found to rid Trogir of the considerable Ciovo through traffic, could we see a return to the Trogir as It Once Was? 

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A new Ciovo bridge was finally announced and, after several false starts, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic opened the new 207 million kuna bridge in July 2018, 85% of which was financed by the EU.  

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You can get an idea of the before and after from these two photos, above and below. 

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The new bridge, which is between Trogir and both Split and its airport, means that all that traffic which used to clog up Trogir in season, does not even come close to the town, heading straight across the new Ciovo bridge, leaving locals and Trogir tourists who want to pop over to Ciovo along the old bridge with a much more pleasant experience. 

Trogir as it once was. 

Trogir Mayor Ante Bilic told TCN not only about the difference the new bridge has made, but what other traffic improvements are in the works: 

The new bridge has completely changed how Trogir functions, especially during the tourist season. It's going to be 2 years in July since the grand opening, and we've almost forgotten how our lives were complicated on a daily basis before the bridge was built. Still, we are very thankful for this important traffic solution which made our lives easier and with more quality, not to mention how much more convenient it is for thousands of tourists visiting Trogir.

I believe the new bridge was also a symbolic beginning of a new era for our town. Trogir, of course, needs more traffic investments and solutions to make it even more seamless. Our partners such as Hrvatske Ceste and Županijske Ceste have some great new plans for us in the foreseeable future. Firstly, the reconstruction of the town's western entrance, via Seget, which is a priority and then the main Čiovo road, from the old Bridge to Slatine. Maybe the most interesting project is making the old stone bridge a pedestrian area and building a new, small bridge starting from the bus station, that will connect the mainland with the old town peninsula. For sure, we have solved our critical traffic problem with the new Čiovo bridge but we are looking forward to new traffic projects.

Excellent stuff, and exciting times for Trogir, which recently launched its new branding, Trogir, Marked by Masters. 

TCN, in association with the Trogir Tourist Board, will be covering this exciting destination in greater detail throughout 2020, and you can follow the latest on our dedicated TCN Trogir page

Friday, 10 January 2020

Trogir Flooded Twice in 2019: Seaboard Repairs Not Enough

In ten days, repairs will begin on a damaged section of the Čiovo seaboard in Trogir. Therefore, Čiovo residents will finally have seventy meters of their damaged and destroyed seaboard repaired, but repairs won't be enough, the city's mayor warns.

Trogir is a historic town and harbor on the Adriatic coast in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia, and has a total municipal population of 13,260. The historic city of Trogir is situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo. It is located 27 kilometers west of the city of Split.


Trogir | Wikimedia Commons

The historic center of Trogir has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites for its Venetian architecture since 1997.

“This investment is worth around 500,000 HRK (67,100 EUR). We had a problem with a ship which was illegally docked, but we have resolved it and the project should be finished in three months. In addition, we plan to make additional improvements the seaboard, port authority and town square,” said Ante Bilić, the mayor of Trogir.

Both the Čiovo and Trogir shorelines ended up underwater twice last year, in November and December. Many other Dalmatian cities have been experiencing similar fates according to HRT on January 9, 2020. Extreme windstorms (Bora), heavy rainfall and a sudden rise in sea level could be disastrous for coastal areas.

“It has happened in the past, but not as frequently. This can hardly be solved by raising the seaboard level because flooding also occurs from catchment and stormwater. We need to discuss these issues at the state level and with ministry of the environment, because this is everyone’s problem,” explained Mayor Bilić.

Scientists have been warning that sea levels could rise from 40 to 120 centimeters in the next hundred years. Without serious investment into preventative projects, the question is who will end up in the "front row to the sea."

Follow our Lifestyle page for updates on environmental concerns and the effects of climate change in Croatia.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

He Did It! RokOtok 2019 Completed as Ribafish Swims to Ciovo. Congratulations! (VIDEOS)

July 30, 2019 - The most heartwarming project on the Croatian coast comes to a successful conclusion as Ribafish swims into Ciovo for the end of Rokotok 2019. 

One man. 

One promise.

Twenty-four days.

Seventeen islands.

Thousands of lives touched in a positive way. 

No need for words from me (if you are wondering what I am writing about check out RokOtok by Ribafish: The Most Heartwarming Project in Croatia in 2019). 


We salute you, Ribafish!

And the rest we leave to videos of the last swim today to Ciovo. 

The arrival. 

And the last hundreds of lives to be touched during RokOtok 2019. But keep following the project for RokOtok 2020.  




Monday, 29 July 2019

Welcome Heroic Ribafish at RokOtok Finish at Okrug Gornji, Ciovo Tomorrow!

RokOtok, the 2019 edition will come to an end on July 30, 2019, as the phenomenal Ribafish arrives on Ciovo as part of a 3-year mission to honour a promise to his son. Be there!

I am still laughing. And crying. 


What a guy! As I wrote in a recent article, RokOtok by Ribafish: The Most Heartwarming Project in Croatia in 2019, I met a guy a few days ago who changed my life a little at the age of 50. As he has been changing and inspiring the lives of thousands of others on Dalmatia's islands on a very unique project. 

(I REALLY encourage you to watch this interview)

Not having the money to take his son to Disneyland, Ribafish promised his son that he would take him in time to all 50 of Croatia's inhabited islands and discover their country instead. Father and son had done 8 of the 50 islands when son Rok tragically died, aged just 12. 

People deal with loss and pain in different ways, and Ribafish decided to channel his energies in a positive direction. After sprinkling Rok's ashes in the Adriatic near their favourite beach, he decided to honour his promise to Rok and swim between the 50 inhabited islands of Croatia over three summers, with 17 islands in this, the first year. With his ashes in the sea, Rok would be constantly by his side. 

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But Ribafish went a little further with his RokOtok project. At every island, he gathers the children (from 30 to over 100) and talks to them about the environment, the importance of family time and nature, away from gadgets. There is a treasure hunt and each child receives a free copy of the book he wrote about conversations he had with Rok, which he asks them to read. It is a wonderful touch, and my kids were not the only ones who came home inspired by this man. 

RokOtok, the 2019 edition will reach its 17th and final island tomorrow, as Ribafish swims from Drvenik Veli to Ciovo. A superhuman effort, and  I am sure it will be quite a party. 

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The Ribafish welcome party will take place at Lucica Toc, Okrug Gornji, Ciovo at 18.00, so if you are anywhere in the area, go and support this man and project. 

I doubt there will be 550,000 people turning up as there were to welcome home the World Cup winners in Zagreb last July, but there should be, for the achievement is on the same level for me. 

Swim well, Ribafish, and thanks for touching so many hearts. 

You can follow the RokOtok project on Facebook


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Full disclosure - My article about Ribafish and the RokOtok project was supposed to be about his swim as far as Jelsa, as a friend of mine is in the support crew and asked if she could write an article. That was days ago, but I will publish it below to pay tribute to those - and many others - who have helped make this project a success. In the words of Gorana Gytha Galic (written around the time of the Jelsa arrival):

As you know, from previous TCN articles about the Rokotok project, here is a brief summary of islands so far connected.

The adventure started on July 6 from Dubrovnik and the first island with the Rokotok flag was Koločep.  Other islands which have been connected are Lopud, Šipan, Mljet, Korčula, Lastovo, Šćedro, Hvar, Vis, Budikovac and Biševo island.

The hardest swimming part was between Mljet and Korčula. There was a bura wind which blew between 18 and  20 knots and east Kurenat between 0.8 knots. Waves were between 1.50 to 3 meters. It took about 6 hours to swim the destination between Mljet and Korčula. That was the longest and hardest stage. Another long stage was between Hvar and Vis which took 5 hours.

The boat which is following Ribafish on his adventure is sailboat Bavaria 46 named Mango.

The captain of the boat from day one to day 17 was Lovre Uroda, who has a great spirit of adventure. From day 17 onwards the substitute captain is Dominik Perkovic.

The support crew had a couple of changes through the adventure. From the beginning to the end with Ribafish is head of organisation Kasandra Draganić. The medic in charge of Ribafish’s health from Dubrovnik to Šipan and from Korčula to Hvar was Marija Štanjel. Lifeguard on the board from Dubrovnik to Korčula was Ivan Jurić from Red Cross Dubrovnik. The cameraman who followed Rokotok from Šipan to Hvar was Igor Bogdanović.  

The medic from Šipan to Korčula island was Ena Kurtić. Todor Jurjević is lifeguard from Red Cross Dubrovnik and he was part of the crew from Korčula to Lastovo.

On Hvar, Ana Štanfel joined as a new medic, as designated lifeguard Nikola Stračárová joined from Red Cross Split and Gorana Galić as an assistant around the boat and activities. 

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On each island, Ribafish and Rokotok were greeted by approx. 30 to 200 children. After Ribafish talked to children about the ecology and importance of speaking and doing activities with their parents, they went on a  treasure hunt and afterwards, gifts were given to the children.

Islands yet to be connected this year are Brač, Šolta, Drvenik Veli, Drvenik Mali and Čiovo island where a big party will be organised for Rokotok at Okrug Gornji. At Čiovo island many people who support the Rokotok but couldn’t participate will join Ribafish and Rokotok event.  Island Čiovo is the last island this year to be connected with Rokotok. The journey continues in Summer 2020.

And a little more info from Brac to Solta:

The guys who followed Ribafish today were members of the waterpolo veterans club, Stari As: Stanko Mašković 1981, commander of  HRM rocket ship ( zapovjednik raketne topovnjače HRM) ; Hrvoje Barbir 1984, magister of IT;  Marin Burič 1983, tour guide; Ivan Jurić 1995, lifeguard.

It took 16 mins to cross the channel between Brač and Šolta, it could be faster but currents didn't allow, and there was a lot of traffic in the channel. For safety reasons we were followed by HGSS boat.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Čiovo Bridge Opened

After long delays, the bridge between the island of Čiovo and Trogir on the mainland has been officially inaugurated.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Bridge Between Čiovo and Trogir to Finally Open Next Week?

It isn't quite Pelješac Bridge, but it is yet another we've been waiting a long time for.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Bridge Linking Čiovo to Mainland Finally Connected!

At least one bridge that everyone in Croatia has been talking about is finally on its way to completion!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Top 5 Čiovo: Best Beaches on Trogir Archipelago's Biggest Island

March 11, 2018- TCN continues looking at the best beaches in Croatia. This time here is Top 5 Čiovo, the best beaches on Trogir Archipelago's biggest island.

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