Saturday, 29 February 2020

Split Diver Boris Milosic After Guinness World Record for Walking Underwater

February 29, 2020 - Boris Milosic is a 23-year member of the Split Diving Club. He was first in the public eye exactly a year ago, when he set a world record for diving in the Bi-Fin discipline in Serbia.

Dalmacija Danas writes that Boris Milosic will try to get into the Guinness Book of Records this weekend. This incredibly positive young diver is set to break the world record for walking underwater. The walk will be performed at the Marina pool in Kastela, around 5 pm on Sunday.

“The rule is that the body must be completely underwater and you must walk in the pool for as long as possible. One foot always has to touch the floor, and when walking, I have to watch the buoyancy of the body. Currently, the record is 79 meters, and I intend to become the first person to walk 100 meters underwater,” Boris Milosic said about making history on Sunday.

“Breathing is a mentally demanding sport. This is a pretty difficult discipline. There are dynamic disciplines where you are moving and static disciplines where you are not. This is something in between,” Boris added.

He will try to complete the venture in less than four minutes.

“I don't think a person who is not into diving can cross half a pool. I'll try to make it in less than four minutes, and if I enjoy it too much, it might be over four minutes - it will be ambitious for us.”

His love of diving was born during the school holidays.

“I was born and raised in Austria. My parents had a weekend house in Rogoznica where we spent the holidays. When I was a kid, I was afraid of the depth, until my dad threw me overboard, hahaa. I learned to swim and realized what I had missed. I have fallen in love with the sea and since then, every summer and sometimes in the winter I dive, even without a suit. Now I get crazy on land, while others are uncomfortable at sea,” Boris says about diving.

Diving requires great mental strength.

“It doesn't take me much time, maybe an hour and a half. It is very challenging for the nervous system and takes a long time to recover. In training, I have to think mentally non-stop, keep my focus on it, motivate myself every day because it is a difficult sport mentally. I try every year to get the best out of myself. I'm breaking new personal records; I'm just getting better and better. For the first time in the summer, I reached a depth of over 100 meters in the sea. I still have high goals for the future and that record is just the beginning of a more professional career,” Boris adds.

Boris is assisted by several sponsors and received a scholarship. He has one goal.

"I want to be the best of the best," Boris said ambitiously.

He regrets that diving is still not an Olympic sport.

“Our President Anna Arzhanova is working on this intensely and I have faith that we will soon be able to compete in the Olympic Games.”

He eventually said he was living his dream.

“It is nice to live in Croatia. While other people go to Austria, I came from there to Split. I had no one, I came only because of the sea and it was the best decision of my life,” Boris concluded.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Istria: Diving Tourism Resulted in 200,000 Overnight Stays

Diving tourism in Istria resulted in 200,000 overnight stays and has become a strong motivator for visiting the peninsula.

According to Barbara Ban/Novac/JutarnjiList on November 14, 2019; as many as 200,000 overnight stays were recorded this year in Istria by tourists who came for one reason: diving. This number was reported at a meeting of the Diving Tourism Professionals Group at Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Pula on Wednesday. However, this figure does not include the number of day visits, which is very high during diving season, which lasts about six months.

- There are numerous diving centers operating throughout the year. Diving is a strong motivator for tourists who prefer a more unique vacation, so diving centers are also recognized as an important factor in the development of tourism in the County of Istria. Therefore, as the group pointed out at the Chamber of Commerce in Pula; it is important to cooperate with the local community, and network with other providers of tourism. By working together, they can create the highest quality destination service which meet the needs of guests in every segments of their stay.

This year, permits have also been granted for performing underwater activities in inland waters and territorial seas in areas where cultural assets are located, based on a public report issued by the Ministry of Culture.

- Diving centers are pleased with the cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and they have a mutual interest preserving the underwater cultural heritage of the Adriatic. Diving centers play an important role in the conservation of the undersea and ecology. After diving, divers often return with the waste they have collected offshore, says Marko Srečec, president of the Diving Tourism Professionals Group.

For this purpose, the group has launched an initiative with municipalities and cities for cooperation in the field of ecology and marine conservation.

- During the coming year, the group plans, among other things, to organize guest lectures at colleges and high schools in order to promote diving tourism as a profession and present activities to as many potentially interested young people who could find employment in diving centers, concluded Srečec.

For more information on tourism in Croatia, follow our travel section. More information about diving in Istria can be found here.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Verena Heinz: A Tragic Tale of a Diver's Life Lost in Croatia

Verena Heinz was a 20-year-old Austrian girl, who loved diving. Her love of diving was passed on to her from her father Dieter, an extremely experienced diver with over 15,000 dives under his belt.

Verena loved everything about diving, her father says that she started diving before she could walk, so she had a licence to operate a boat, she surfed, sailed, scuba-dived and free-dived. Dieter and Verena arrived in Malinska on the island of Krk on Wednesday, July 24th, had a light lunch and decided to go diving - that's why they came, after all.

They visited a local dive centre to ask the people who worked there to recommend some free-diving locations. One of the reasons why Verena came to Krk was to prepare for the arrival of Christian Redl, Austrian free-diving champion, who Verena helped train, so they were also scouting for the locations.

They took the advice and went to a diving location (most of the story is translated from an interview Dieter Heinz gave to Tomislav Kukec from Jutarnji list, who has been thoroughly reporting this tragic story ever since it happened). They had a meter-wide buoy with them, for protection, the water depth was around 15 meters at the location, and they dove alternately.

There were plenty of jet-skis and speedboats around them, but the visibility was excellent and they thought they were safe, marked with such a large buoy. Then a large speedboat started coming towards them at a high speed. They were certain that the driver would notice them and make a turn, they were quite visible, but that hasn't happened. The boat came way to close to them, the propeller of the speedboat's engine severed Verena's leg and she started sinking. Her father did everything he could to try to save his daughter, but Verena Heinz was too badly hurt to be saved.

The speedboat's driver came back to see what had happened and fell into shock. He is a 26-year-old, quite experienced man from Zadar, who was found not to have any alcohol in his system. There was another person on the boat with him, his 19-year-old colleague.

An ambulance came, took Verena to Rijeka hospital, her father says he wasn't allowed to come with, so he had to drive himself over there in his car, and once he got there he wasn't able to get any information about his daughter's condition, as supposedly none of the people working there knew any English or German (author's note: I find this very hard to believe, that none of the people working in a hospital in Rijeka couldn't communicate in English or German. It seems more likely to me that nobody wanted to tell the father in the state of shock what happened). Just one doctor spoke to him, informing him that his daughter couldn't be saved.

As soon as it happened, various versions of where the accident took place started appearing in Croatian media and official statements. First, it was said that the father and daughter team were diving at a distance from the coast of over 300 meters. That is forbidden; additionally, speedboats are allowed to reach full speeds at over 300 meters from the shore.

Dieter Heinz claimed that that is simply not true, that they were not that far from the coastline. He told the police and the reporters that he removed his diver's belt with the weights while he was trying to save Verena and that if they were able to find it, it would pinpoint the exact location of the accident. And that's exactly what the police divers were able to do, as yesterday it was reported that the weights (and Verena's leg) were found - at around 200 meters from the shoreline!

That means that the speedboat was not supposed to be going that fast (there was speculation that Dieter and Verena Heinz decided to dive right at a corridor which is dedicated to the boats, where they are allowed to go faster, but Dieter strongly denies that possibility). There's no explanation as to how it is possible that neither of the two people on the boat saw the pair of divers and their one-meter-wide red and white buoy, because at first they were in too much of a shock to give any statement, and later they maintained that the accident happened much further from the coastline. 

Another important fact is that it is not allowed to dive at over 100 meters from the shoreline, unless in an organized group and with a boat. Verena's father Dieter claims that this is not true, but the fact is that two people with one buoy should not be diving alone at 200 meters away from the shore in Croatia. That does not mean that the speedboat driver was allowed to go that fast, but there is a reason why such a wide buffer-zone exists, and unfortunately, we have (again) seen that reason this July.

The investigation into precise details of this accident continues. Dieter Heinz claims that he does not want the young speedboat operator to end up in jail, he just wants the truth to be known and that more people start paying more attention while at sea so that accidents like this one wouldn't happen as often as they do. Most public attention has been given to the horrible event when Tomislav Horvatinčić, a Croatian entrepreneur and serial traffic accident participant caused an accident with his yacht in which two Italians were killed.

Verena Heinz was finally laid to rest today, back in her home town of Strobl am Wolfgangsee, where some of her sporting and active friends held a moving tribute to her on Tuesday. Hopefully, her meaningless death will make people more aware of the rules and regulations at sea, and increased awareness of others who might be sharing the same space with us.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

SS Baron Gautsch - the Biggest Attraction for Divers in Croatia

One of the biggest attractions for divers in the Croatian part of the Adriatic is the sunken Austro-Hungarian passenger steamer ship, SS Baron Gautsch, which sank near Rovinj in 1914.

Divers love going to sunken ships, it is considered one of the biggest attractions of getting below the surface, seing what humanity has permanently deposited at the bottom. One of such destinations in Croatia that gets most attention and the biggest number of diving visitors each year is the SS Baron Gautsch wreck, located at the coordinates 44° 56' 25" N, 13° 34' 40" E at the depth of 28 to 40 meters.

Back in the day, she was the pride of the Austrian passenger navy, a 85 meter long steamboat that connected ports in Austrian Istria and Dalmatia before the WWI, but was used for humanitarian missions during the war. She was on one on the 12th of August, 1914 as well, taking civilians from Kotor to Trieste, when the captain got too close to the minefields set near the Rovinj port by the Austrian Navy. She hit one of the mines and sank completely within minutes, taking many of the civilians on board to the bottom. Many Austrian vessels were in the vicinity, and they managed to save 159 people from the water, while the official number of casualties stands at 147.

The wreck is situated at the bottom in an upright position, giving it an eery appearance of still afloat. The masts and other details have been broken, and propellers have been removed. The hole in the full of the boat, caused by the mine, is still clearly visible. Because of the depth of up to 42 meters, experienced advanced divers are allowed to make the dive.

The wreck is protected by the Ministry of Culture, so in order to dive to it and to explore, you need to dive with one of the authorised diving centers (most diving centres from Istria are authorised for this dive).

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Beach In Split, Croatia Needed Over 100 Divers For A Clean-Up

December 19, 2018 — The divers came to Split, Croatia — about 100 of them — armed with wetsuits, diving masks, and air tanks. They went under, and from the sea emerged tires, garbage dumpsters — even an old mine. Their work created a visual chronicle of humans’ impact on the sea.

The Association of Under Activities Rostrum invited divers from all around Croatia to its annual underwater litter-removal gathering, “Clean Christmas and Bright New Year 2018.” It hoped to clean up the seabed and highlight pollution.

The group of divers cleaned Žnjan Beach, one of the more popular beaches in Split. The Association chose the location after divers discovered its abundant aquatic garbage, according to

The association couldn’t estimate the total amount of waste removed from the sea. There were tires of all shapes and sizes (over 250), containers, tables, chairs, waste bins, ceramic tiles, plastic cans, aluminum cans, shoes, swimming gear, and even the skeleton of a boat. As if the waste itself was not enough, divers also found an old mine.

Žnjan Beach, located below Split, Croatia’s hospital, was a deceptive site. It appeared bucolic above water. Then the Association released a Facebook album showing mounds of litter beneath the surface.

About 100 divers from all around Croatia and even abroad responded. Volunteers on land helped extract the garbage from the waters.

Tire by tire, bag by bag, shortly after the start of the dive, the bottom began to resemble itself again. The association turned the rubbish into a seaside “Christmas tree”; an eyesore designed to put the problem into stark relief.

The association described it as, “A warning on how negligent behavior towards the environment is kept long under the sea, even during Christmas time when we are not thinking about swimming.”

You can find more stories about eco-friendly activities in Croatia on our Lifestyle page.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

''View into the Blue'' On Way to Pazin!

Fancy perfecting your diving skills? Head to Pazin!

Sunday, 6 May 2018

View into the Blue: Free Diving Crash Course on Rab Island

May 6, 2018 - Ever wanted to try scuba diving, but don't have the time for a full course? You're in luck!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

100 Years on the Seabed: 'Cesare Rossarol', Sunk in Istrian Waters in WWI

It's been a century since the Italian navy ship hit a mine and sank near the small Istrian town of Ližnjan. A closer look to the shipwreck on April 25, 2018

Thursday, 24 August 2017

World's First Underwater Stations of the Cross Opening in Trogir!

We like to introduce our readers to the wonders of the Croatian coast on a daily basis – magical beaches, little charming bays, marinas, restaurants and bars with a gorgeous view of the sea... but there are some treasures hiding under the surface that are more than worth taking a look at.

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