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Much too fast in the shore zone: Boat accident near Rovinj: swimmer dead, German skipper in custody

Rovinj - Istria - Croatia: fatal accident, motor boat against swimmer
Again and again there are encounters of motorboat drivers, jet skiers and swimmers on the beaches of the Adriatic. Therefore, it is life-threatening for swimmers and divers if the recreational captains do not keep to the prescribed speed limits (walking speed) in the zone up to 300 metres from the shore.

In a boat accident in the Croatian Skaraba Bay at Rovinj in the afternoon of August 10, 2020, a German skipper ran over a 26-year-old swimmer, also from Germany, with his motorboat, who subsequently died at the scene of the accident.

A SeaHelp member, who witnessed the accident directly and also provided first aid, made an urgent appeal to the SeaHelp editorial team to use this tragic incident as an opportunity to once again sensitize all skippers and jet skiers to the need to maintain the legally required walking speed within the 300-meter zone and to pay special attention to swimmers and divers.

Swimmer overlooked

What had happened: According to the description of the member, whose name shall not be mentioned but of course the editorial staff knows, an obviously newly in love couple, he 26 years old, she 24 years old, had travelled to Rovinj to celebrate the birthday of the victim’s girlfriend in Croatia on the day of the fatal accident. Around 4 p.m., the later victim wanted to swim another lap, and the girlfriend stayed on land.

Place of accident: Skaraba bay near Rovinj

Then the misfortune took its course. At about the same time, three people who had spent the afternoon in beautiful sunshine on their sports boat (length five to six metres) in the Skaraba Bay set off to leave it.


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Dramatic portrayal of SeaHelp member and accident witness

At this point we reproduce the full length description of the SeaHelp member. It should also, according to the will of the accident witness, be an explicit warning to all those who do not follow the rules.

From his boat, the member was able to watch and hear the engine being started. The person who caused the accident manoeuvred his sports boat quite “sportily” out of the bay and made another turn. Then literally: “When I was still wondering why he accelerates so much although the engine is still cold, I already heard a loud thud. It was immediately clear to me: something must have happened. A short time later I heard a moan.” The motorboat had collided with the float at a speed of about 30 to 40 km/h.

Swimmer died at the scene of the accident

The member immediately went to the scene of the accident, made a mayday call. In the meantime, a doctor who happened to be at the stand had already swum to the scene of the accident to support the first aid measures. However, as there was no possibility for the ambulance to go out to sea, the victim was first brought ashore by the boat of the person responsible for the accident. Unfortunately, the rescue measures remained in vain. The 26-year-old German swimmer died at the scene of the accident after the collision with the sports boat.

German person responsible for accident in custody

The consequences of this irresponsible behaviour of the approx. 60-year-old German skipper are again explicitly and as a warning presented here. The skipper was immediately arrested, the boat was confiscated and the perpetrator is probably waiting for his trial in a Croatian prison.

Girlfriend witnessed fatal accident on her birthday

On her birthday, the victim’s 24-year-old girlfriend virtually had to watch her boyfriend being run over by a motorboat and received the news on the beach that he had died as a result of the accident. More suffering can hardly be caused by careless handling of a sports boat.

Motorboat and jet ski drivers often too fast

But the tragic story is far from over: shortly after the fatal accident in Skaraba Bay, the member had to witness another near-collision between a jet ski driver and a swimmer. According to his account, the said jet ski driver drove past a swimmer almost at top speed, the distance was less than one meter.

Strong warning: observe speed limits

His emphatic warning to all water sports enthusiasts in a nutshell: for swimmers, divers, motorboat drivers, sailors and jet skiers, the Adriatic Sea offers more than enough space if you follow the rules. Walking at a distance of up to 300 metres from the coast, paying particular attention to swimmers and divers as well as snorkellers, can effectively prevent tragic accidents such as this one and spare those affected, i.e. those who caused the accident, accident victims and their relatives a great deal of suffering.

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