SeaHelp weather warning: Misjudgement of the regions in Croatia increasingly leads to accidents during storms

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When the thunderstorm is already raging like here the lightning over Punat, it is usually already too late. Therefore: act in time, call at a safe harbour and secure your boat or yacht accordingly.

Naturally, you should always expect predictable, but also unforeseeable, short-term weather changes such as storms, heavy rain or thunderstorms on the Adriatic Sea in the area of Croatia. That’s why SeaHelp has integrated the “Weather Warning” function in the free SeaHelp app for iOS and Android devices, which alerts users to such weather phenomena via push message. In addition, the authorities issue warnings via VHF channel 16, but in the follow-up to the SeaHelp deployment, it was found that few skippers heeded the official warnings about thunderstorms and storms.

Weather warnings often ignored

In conversations with owners and charter skippers who were traveling with their boats and yachts in the areas affected by the thunderstorms and storms, it became apparent that many had not heeded the SeaHelp weather warning or had underestimated the effect of the occurring bora. A second factor, though not negligible, is the fact that many people are unable to correctly identify the areas they are currently in with their boat or yacht according to official meteorological data.

Overview of the meteorological regions of Croatia

Therefore, here once again an overview of the official division of the coast, as it is also used in the linguistic usage of meteorologists:

North Adriatic: From the northernmost point of the Adriatic in the area of Italy to Zadar
Middle Adriatic: From Zadar to Dubrovnik
South Adriatic: From Dubrovnik via Montenegro to the central part of Albania

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Move the mouse over the regions marked in different colours (tap on the mobile phone) to see the name of the respective region.

 

Classification for entire Adriatic Sea – not only Croatia

The serious error caused by the official names of the different Adriatic regions is the misjudgement of many skippers that this classification refers only to Croatia. In fact, it refers to the entire Mediterranean region.

Mistakes cause avoidable accidents

In order to explain this situation in more detail, here is an example that shows how quickly one can get caught up in a mistake: A skipper is in the region off Dubrovnik, so in fact still in the middle Adriatic. If there is a weather warning for this region now, but the skipper assumes that he is in the southern Adriatic (because in the southern part of Croatia), he can be surprised by storm and thunderstorm because of this mistake. This was apparently what happened to some water sports enthusiasts on 11 July, as was revealed in the SeaHelp emergency response follow-up.

Weather data may vary

In addition, there is a fact that skippers in the Adriatic, especially off the coast of Croatia, should not ignore: Weather data is not only collected at weather stations, but also from aircraft on scheduled flights. As air traffic is drastically restricted in times of the rampant coronavirus, this additional data is missing, which in turn affects the accuracy of weather forecasts.

Therefore, the following applies especially now: thunderstorms do not know any exact boundaries drawn with a ruler. For example, if you are travelling by boat or yacht in the southern part of the northern Adriatic, you should also keep an eye on weather developments in the central Adriatic.

Install SeaHelp weather warning app

In addition, but still a few tips for the entire Adriatic region: The installation of the SeaHelp app, the reliable weather warnings by push message and loudly audible ship’s horn, is a must for all water sports enthusiasts, boat and yacht owners and skippers of a charter yacht that place value on safety. If a weather warning is sent out by SeaHelp, you should if possible enter a safe harbour with your yacht and check that the mooring lines are securely fastened. If possible, anyone who is moored to a buoy should personally check the condition and secure hold of the mooring lines under water. In addition, all hatches should be closed and the objects on deck should be secured accordingly.

Pictures also on Instagram

By the way: What happens if you do not observe these principles of good seamanship, which are actually self-evident for every skipper, can be seen again and again on our Instagram channel.

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