A father’s promise kept! 50 islands, 1 swim, 1 legend
July 31, 2022 – The greatest story to come out of Croatia this year and many more. A father’s promise kept, as Ribafish completes his swim to Croatia’s 50 inhabited islands. Cheer!
I never met young Rok before his life tragically ended so young, but I heard a lot about the special bond he shared with his father, Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish. And I can’t imagine a child being prouder of their dad than Rok would have been at the end of his dad’s momentous journey.
I heard a lot about their shared love of the Adriatic and about dad’s promise to take her to all the inhabited islands of Croatia, because he had no money to take her to New York and to Paris.
Of how, after the tragic loss so young, a father’s promise to his son was kept, and in the most beautiful way.
Scattering Rok’s ashes in the Adriatic near their favorite beach of Korcula, Ribafish swore to keep his promise to visit all 50 islands by swimming from one to the other, from south to north, with Rok by his side . And not just swimming, but also educating children on the way about the environment, growing up happy and spending time with their parents. You can read more about the project from this previous TCN report.
What can I say – Ribafish did it! And rather than me telling you about it, here it is in the form of the official press release. Respect, Sir, you have inspired thousands.
#Rokotok project – promise kept! Ribafish was the first in history to connect 50 Croatian inhabited islands by swimming, learning and socializing
Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish kept his promise to his son. The #Rokotok flag flew over 50 Croatian inhabited islands, which for the first time are connected by swimming, but also by history. The story of a project that reminded islanders and their guests of the importance of preserving the environment and growing up happy, filled with spending time with friends and relatives.
The project, which the media described as “the most beautiful story of the summer”, celebrated its grand finale, after nearly 54,000 meters of swimming, in the third, final phase, in Punat on the island of Krk. Official RokOtok swimmer Boris Korbar, four locals and Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish jumped into the sea from the boat near the islet of Košljuna. A few boys joined them and they all reached the waterfront with ease, in about twenty minutes, where they were greeted by about five hundred children and adults.
Ribafish considers these last 800 meters of the 210 kilometers covered during the project along the Adriatic, from Koločep to Krk, with a gap of a few days, as the most emotional moments. “It was not easy to get out of the sea in front of all these people, as emotions of sadness intertwined in me, but also an enormous gratitude for the support of all the people who welcomed me to this place and in all the others, and all my Rokotočans who during the three phases of the project, during the long journey of four years, were with me”, he said and added that he will use the month of August for holiday in Korčula, where he will be surrounded by his closest relatives, dealing with everything on his own and sifting through memories, looking for inspiration for new ideas through this #Rokotok as a project that will live on in the future.
Along with the crew, many swimmers and thousands of islanders and their guests are also included in the “memories” of the #Rokotok project. They all listened to the story of the problems faced by islands, swimming, nature, ecology and parental love, sought and hid “treasures”, and Ribafish points out that he hopes they have all remembered the key message of this project, the message in which it found meaning and what was its driving force – that promises should be kept.
The final reception was organized by the Punat Tourist Board headed by director Branko Karabaić. After the lecture and outing with the kids, Ribafish placed the last geocache, motivating other kids to visit this beautiful island and destination in the future to research. Here too, the children were delighted with the gifts. Of the last 17 islands in July 2022, 2,200 have been distributed (over 6,000 in all three phases), and Ribafish himself has received personalized #Rokotok tennis shoes as a gift, three fish for all three phases of the project , a delicious cake and what he considers the greatest gift – smiling faces, warm words and hugs from small and big children.
During the project, Shortest Path Production recorded all the material for the next documentary film (expected in the fall of 2023), and in September, as well as a suitable exhibition of images by the ship’s official photographer Ivan Čujić and drawn posters by children on the islands, a press conference of the project will take place. where anyone interested can learn about future projects.
Thank you all for participating in the most beautiful story of the summer and for helping to keep a promise.
The project was supported by Sport Vision Croatia, RBA, HTZ, Rio Mare, Hyundai Croatia, Offertissima, UHU, Rubor Autoservis Zapruđe, Jamnica, Offset.hr, Pašmanero, Solgar, Insako and many more…
What is it like to live in Croatia? Expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting from the beginning – Business and Dalmatia.