Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Dina Levacic Becomes First Croatian to Complete Oceans Seven Challenge

March 15, 2023 - It's over. Or just starting, who knows, it's up to Dina to decide. Top Split swimmer Dina Levacic swam across the Cook Strait in New Zealand and thus completed the Oceans Seven.

As Slobodna Dalmacija writes, this Croatian long-distance swimmer swam the 23-kilometer-wide Cook's Strait in New Zealand, becoming only the 23rd person in the world and the first in Croatia to swim all seven major world marathons. The first person to swim all seven channels was Stephen Redmond in 2012, while the last was Adrian Sarchet in February 2020.

Dina Levacic's story began in 2017 when she swam the Catalina Channel in California, then the English Channel in Europe, the Moloka'i Channel in Hawaii, the Tsugaru Strait in Japan, the Strait of Gibraltar, and the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland. The young woman from Split announced her latest success on social media on her 27th birthday, after 11 hours of swimming, with high waves and an ocean temperature of around 16 degrees. The Cook Strait is located between the North and South Islands in New Zealand, and due to the low temperature of the ocean and strong currents, it is considered one of the most difficult swimming challenges.

"I would be overjoyed if it happened on my birthday, but it could also happen in the next few days," the optimistic Dina Levacic said at a recent press conference. Her birthday wish ended up coming true.

"Thank you to everyone who was by my side, not only in swimming but also in education, my professional and private life. This is the success of everyone who stands behind me; I am proud that my name will stand next to 22 others who completed all seven swims. And that the Croatian flag will stand next to those who swam the Oceans Seven. Now I just need to blow out the candles on my birthday cake before midnight", said Dina Levacic.

She shared how the sea felt and what she was going through.

"Greetings to everyone after the final adventure and project that began in 2017 with the Catalina swim. Today was quite challenging, which was expected, although I was hoping for the weather to be a bit calmer, but that's how it is in this sport. Unpredictable. The waves were quite strong, and we hoped the sea would calm down during the day, but it didn't. It was merciless, but the most important thing was that I reached the South Island and touched the coast, and the main goal was fulfilled. Now I can start realizing some new projects. This is a great success and the crown of 23 years of swimming training. All the sacrifice, work, and effort paid off. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way.

She still wants to swim...

"From Vis to Split, I hope that I will finally succeed," she announced at the press conference before leaving for New Zealand.

Dina's Oceans Seven

2017 - Catalina Channel in California

On August 3, 2017, Dina Levacic became the first person from Croatia to swim the 34 km long Catalina channel. She swam from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. The start was at night, at 11 pm local time. Dina crossed the finish line after 9 hours and 47 minutes, reaching the beach below the Trump National Golf Club.

2017 - The La Manche

Dina swam 45 kilometers in 11 hours and 42 minutes. The main challenge was beating herself, to spend a long time in the icy water with a temperature of 16.5 degrees. Although the channel is 34 kilometers wide in its narrowest part, more swimming is needed due to unfavorable conditions.

2018 - Moloka'i Channel in Hawaii

The Moloka'i channel in Hawaii is 42 kilometers long. The weather conditions for swimming the channel were far from ideal, a strong wind with gusts of 50 km/h, high waves that made swimming even more difficult, and even a jellyfish that burned her badly. However, none of these was an insurmountable obstacle, and this marathon lasted 13 hours.

2019 - Tsugaru Strait in Japan

Tsugaru in Japan is located between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido and connects the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Dina started at midnight local time and swam almost 31 kilometers to Hokkaido in seven hours, 13 minutes, and 15 seconds.

2022 - Strait of Gibraltar

In 2022, this was Dina Levacic's fastest swim of 15.3 kilometers that, separate Europe from Africa, that is, Spain from Morocco. A total of 84 male and female swimmers swam across Gibraltar last year, and Dina swam across it on June 18 in just 3 hours and 3 minutes.

2022 - The North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland

Dina Levacic became the first person from Croatia to swim the 34-kilometer-wide North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland; it took her 10 hours, 26 minutes, and 58 seconds.

2023 - The Cook Strait in New Zealand

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

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Istrian Seawater of Excellent Quality Except in Certain Areas

September the 22nd, 2022 - The Istrian seawater is of excellent quality, except for close to the beaches in popular destinations such as Umag, Porec, Rovinj and Fazana.

As Morski writes, the Istrian seawater quality was recently tested at beaches around Istria County. Istria County's Teaching Institute for Public Health conducted the ninth survey in a row from September the 5th to the 13th, 2022, where the Istrian seawater was sampled at 217 measuring points on the beaches from Savudrija to Brestova.

Air and sea temperatures are also normally recorded during this sort of sampling, and this time the sea temperature ranged from 23.0 ºC to 25.8 ºC, while the air temperature ranged from 17 ºC to 28 ºC.

At 210 measuring points, more specifically in 96.8% of the samples, and based on the individual results of microbiological indicators, the excellent quality of the Istrian seawater for swimming was recorded at 6 measuring points. In 2.8% of the samples taken, good seawater quality was recorded for swimming, and at 1 measuring point, so in a mere 0.5% of the samples taken, only satisfactory quality of the seawater for swimming was recorded.

Pursuant to Article 5 of the appropriate regulation, intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli are determined in sea samples as microbiological indicators of seawater pollution, and during the sampling procedures, meteorological conditions, sea temperature and salinity, and visible pollution are all also recorded.

Based on the results of testing the microbiological indicators for individual sampling, seawater quality for swimming is classified as excellent and marked with a circular symbol on the map in blue, good quality seawater is marked on the map in green, satisfactory is marked in yellow and unsatisfactory is marked in red.

As part of this regular ninth examination of the quality of the Istrian sewater for swimming, the results of the sampling of microbiological indicators on September the 6th, 2022 showed that at the Porec, Molindrio, Hotel Molindrio (below the hotel) measuring point, the indicators exceeded the limit values, that is, that microbiological pollution was indeed present there.

However, the results of re-sampling done on September the 7th, 2022 showed that the elevated values ​​of microbiological indicators were steadily decreasing, and the microbiological pollution for the aforementioned locations was characterised only in the short-term and therefore not officially included in the report.

Re-sampling carried out on September the 8th, 2022 showed the end of short-term pollution at the specified measuring point, and in the final report, the specified location was rated as good quality.

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

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Croatian Interactive Map Shows Cleanliness of Sea at Different Beaches

July the 20th, 2022 - Ever wondered if the waves which gently lap at the shore of your favourite beach is actually all that clean? Of course, few seas are as gorgeous, crystal clear and inviting as the Croatian Adriatic, but just how clean is it really? A new Croatian interactive map reveals all.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the proper criteria for evaluating seawater quality on beaches, as well as test methods, are prescribed by the Regulation on the quality of sea for bathing (NN73/08), which is harmonised with Directive 2006/7/EC of the European Parliament from back in February 2006 on the management of swimming water quality, Guidelines for swimming sea water quality in the Mediterranean of the Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations for the Environment (UNEP/MAP) and the criteria of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The above regulations prescribe sea water quality standards for swimming at beaches, and they have limit values ​​of microbiological indicators and other characteristics of the sea. Compared to the previous regulation on sea water quality standards at beaches (OG 33/96), the limit values ​​of the new regulation are higher because they meet the safety criteria of water quality intended for swimming, sports and recreation that are applied in the countries of the European Union (EU), according to the Institute of Public Health of Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

In addition, according to the regulation on the quality of the sea water intended for swimming (NN73/08), the profile of swimming areas was also monitored on beaches across the Republic of Croatia this year. This regarded the existence and maintenance of accompanying beach facilities, such as showers, sanitary facilities or possible nearby sewage outlets. The concessionaire of the beach and/or local self-government units are obliged to display information boards in visible places and highlight the data on the quality of the sea water there, a general description of how the sea is in terms of swimming, and information on possible extraordinary events that may take place the beach in order to provide clear information for swimmers.

There's now a new Croatian interactive map which shows sea water quality levels for swimming, what do the marks on it mean?

The available quality ratings are shown with coloured circular symbols on the Croatian interactive map in blue (excellent), green (good), yellow (satisfactory) and red (unsatisfactory), as well as accompanying information (such as air and sea temperatures, salinity, and the direction of the wind). The results are then entered into the database immediately after the end of the analysis. In addition to the assessment of the sea water quality, there is the possibility of getting an insight into the peculiarities of various different beaches, such as their hydrometeorological characteristics, their available beach/swimming equipment and more. Users of this Croatian interactive map also have the possibility of commenting on different beaches, reporting pollution and proposing new ideas.

You can find the new Croatian interactive map here.

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

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Ribafish Returns for RokOtok as the Father and Son Love Story Continues

 July 7, 2021 - One of the most moving stories about a father's promise to his son adds a new chapter to its pages, after a year on hiatus from the pandemic. ''Ribafish'' has started in Brodarica the second stage of the heartwarming project RokOtok, in memory of his son Rok.

After last year's break caused by the pandemic, this weekend started the second phase of the famous praiseworthy project RokOtok, a cheerful summer swimming and educational marathon Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish launched two years ago in memory of his prematurely deceased son Rok. ''Ribafish'' decided to fulfill the promise he made to Rok: that he would visit all 50 Croatian inhabited islands. But he also fulfills the promise he made to himself that he would swim to all our islands and hang out with the children and educate them.

"When I swim, he is with me and it's easier that way. RokOtok is dedicated to my son Rok and when the body can no longer and when the brain can no longer, there are emotions, I swim for him. I promised him that we would visit all 50 islands together and with this, I am trying to fulfill that promise", said Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish on Saturday, a few moments before the start of the second stage of the RokOtok project.


Domagoj Japoković, better known as ''Ribafish'', last Saturday in Brodarica before starting the second stage of the RokOtok. (Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL)

RokOtok received an award from the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure for its contribution to the promotion of maritime culture, and was named the most beautiful story of the summer of 2019. This year, the story goes further. The second of the three phases of the project began on July 3 at 9 a.m. with departure from Brodarica for the island of Krapanj. This year's planned stage will be about 60 kilometers long, will connect 17 islands, and finally end on July 27 at 6 pm in Ugljan. After reaching the island, Ribafish will convey to large and small residents of the islands of Šibenik-Knin and Zadar County why it is important to protect nature and the environment, will organize beach cleaning, and an interactive and stimulating search for "treasure". Educational games in nature have also been designed to raise awareness of the problem of spending too much time in front of screens and mobile phones.

When this project was launched two years ago, not so many positive reactions were expected at the locations it swam to. In the first phase, he swam all the planned sections in the length of a hundred kilometers and connected 17 islands. On some of these islands, he was not even experienced, and somewhere he was greeted like a rock star.

In the first strokes of this year's route, Ribafish was accompanied by Dubravko Dudo Šimenc, a celebrated member of the water polo team, in a dual role. Not only are they friends, but Šimenc was also there as a representative of the Croatian Tourist Board.

The first two stages of this year's venture were organized in partnership with the associations "Tatavaka" and "Together for Krapanj" which, together with the City of Šibenik and island tourist boards, launched the initiative "For an archipelago without plastic". The successful project "Zlarin without plastic" is spreading to other islands, and Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish becomes an ambassador and supporter of this initiative.


The section from Brodarica to Krapanj with Ribafish was swum by about sixty people, and about 120 kids gathered at the reception on the beach in front of the Spongiola Hotel. (Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL)

At dawn, Ribafish from Krapanj continued towards Zlarin in the company of Tonći Lokas, and upon arrival in Zlarin, they were greeted by about seventy children. On the third day, Ribafish swam to the island of Prvić, the island of the visionary Faust Vrančić, where he was greeted by about fifty children, and on Tuesday he swam a very demanding section from Prvić to Kaprije.

Ribafish invites all residents of the islands of the Šibenik and Zadar archipelagos to join it this summer in another edition of RokOtok, but also to adhere to the epidemiological measures set by the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters. He tells everyone to stay in nature as much as possible, to protect it and not to further "injure" the only planet that allows us blue skies, green grass, clear water, and fresh air.

The second stage of the #RokOtok project was supported by many sponsors, the Zadar County, and the Croatian National Tourist Board. More information about the #Rokotok project, plans, and activities, the second stage, or volunteering and promotion, can be found on the official website of the association.

Source: Turističke priče

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Monday, 14 June 2021

Croatian Divers Discover Dangerous Jellyfish in Istrian Waters

June the 14th, 2021 - A warning has been issued to swimmers in the southern Istrian part of the Adriatic after Croatian divers stumbled upon a dangerous type of jellyfish.

When swimming in the calm and peaceful Croatian Adriatic, it's difficult to imagine that anything could be lurking down in the depths where you can't see. The crystal clear waters allow for a view of all of the fish and other marine creatures living down below, but rarely do we imagine coming to some harm.

Although sharks do live in the Croatian Adriatic, they pose little to no threat and much prefer to avoid any contant with humans, making being able to see and film them a delight rather than the cause of a panic attack. The most common injury caused by a resident of the Adriatic is one by a sea urchin, who can pack a punch with its spikes when accidentally stepped on.

Jellyfish, however, are quite another story indeed, and a recent discovery is of a type which does more than deliver an uncomfortable but generally harmless sting.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian divers spotted the dangerous jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca) on Sunday in the south of Istria. Being stung by this jellyfish causes severe pain, and upon contact with human skin, the creature causes agonising injuries similar to burns that are then very difficult to heal.

This jellyfish, which has numerous names - the mauve stinger, the purple-striped jelly, the purple stinger, the purple people eater, the purple jellyfish, the luminous jellyfish and the night-light jellyfish, is a relatively small creature with a semicircular head and pink tentacles, sprinkled with tiny purple dots.

As stated, upon contact with human skin, severe pain occurs and injuries similar to burns appear, which are difficult to heal, followed by depigmentation of the skin and even deep scarring, local portal Glas Istre writes.

This jellyfish was spotted by the Croatian divers on Sunday in the bay of Velika Kolumbarica near the Kamenjak peninsula. Sea currents and waves sometimes carry these jellyfish to the shore, where they'd prefer not to be, and where they become a threat to swimmers.

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