Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear SeaHelp members,
the year 2020 probably presented us all with very special challenges, so I would like to use the time around Christmas and New Year’s Eve to address a few personal words to you.
During boot Düsseldorf, the corona virus still seemed far away and quite a few of us hoped it was not much more than a particularly intense wave of flu that was spreading, especially in Asia. However, as early as the Austrian Boat Show Tulln it had to be recognized that global networking had brought the virus to Europe as well. What followed, we all know: Lockdown also in our vacation countries Croatia and Italy, then a delayed start of the water sports season, which, at least for us Austrians, came to an abrupt, not necessarily predictable end in August.
But one thing has become apparent during the crisis: Boat and yacht owners, as well as charter crews, are among the individualists. They take responsibility for themselves and others and know that the chance of a coronavirus infection is significantly lower on the water than in any big city. And they don’t let the media’s constant barrage this summer stop them from doing what they think is right. “Supervised thinking” on Corona, as has been offered in many places on TV and in print, is not for water sports enthusiasts. They can form their own opinions and act on them.
How right they all were with this assessment was shown by a SeaHelp survey, which was additionally confirmed by tests conducted by MedUni Graz: The infection event almost completely passed by the water sports enthusiasts who spent this summer in Croatia.
And that gives us courage for 2021! The available vaccine in conjunction with the constantly modified rapid tests for COVID-19, but also the experience gained in the meantime in dealing with the coronavirus should put us in a position to be able to sail on the Adriatic next year with as few restrictions as possible. One thing should not be forgotten: In 2020, our area was also much safer from an epidemiological point of view than, for example, Berlin or Vienna.
I personally and all our employees are already looking forward to when the 2021 season starts again. And maybe we can contribute a little bit with our services and information so that you will feel safe on the Italian, Slovenian and Croatian coasts.
Until then, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and always a hand’s breadth of water under your keel. Stay healthy!
With nautical greetings
Wolfgang Dauser and the whole SeaHelp team