With the expert guidance of specially trained, professional skippers from Croatia Open Land Tours DMC, rafting for the blind was held for the first time on Mrežnica river in Croatia’s Karlovac area.
Among those taking part were Members of the Association of the Blind USKA.
Blind persons Mirsad Bećirović and Elena Mrkonja embarked on a rafting adventure on Mrežnica under the expert guidance of Krešo Rogoz, director and owner of Croatia Open Land, and skippers Hrvoje Pupić and Filip Ferderber who are trained in safe behaviour on wild waters under the WRT Pro Rescue 3 license and have experience working with people with disabilities.
For the first time, blind people tried the experience of rafting down Mrežnica, a river that is suitable for rafting due to the many waterfalls and is tame enough to be acceptable for people with disabilities.
The adventure on Mrežnica began with a detailed explanation of the descent, giving all the necessary information about rafting and of course detailed safety instructions.
There was one skipper and one blind person in each boat, who went on a two-hour tour together and showed that rafting is accessible to people with disabilities, especially people with visual impairments.
Rafting adapted for the blind involves extensive conversation while riding, and the skippers described the flora and fauna of the beautiful Mrežnica and its waterfalls, surrounded by river canyons and beech and hornbeam forests. For the blind, it was an exceptional experience experienced through all the other senses – through the scents of nature, the warmth of the sun, the sound of waterfalls, the swaying of the waves, the splashing of drops and all the other sensations that rafting creates.
Of course, blind people also rowed together all the time, while they were accompanied by a seeing companion Sanja Jakić from the Association of the Blind USKA.
“We reluctantly accepted the invitation to participate due to previous experience in working with people with disabilities and with blind and partially sighted people. Thanks to the internationally licensed skippers with the WRT Pro Rescue 3 license, which trains us for safe behaviour on wild waters, we are able to provide everyone with an unforgettable experience on the water. The emphasis of the business of the travel agency Croatia Open Land is on an individual approach, and in this way we strive to provide everyone with an unforgettable experience according to the wishes and needs of the individual. I invite all those interested to dare to try something new,”, said Krešo Rogoz on behalf of Croatia Open Land Tours DMC.
This unique cooperation between Croatia Open Land Tours DMC and the Association of the Blind USKA is another step in pushing the boundaries in the lives of people with disabilities and their inclusion in sports and recreational activities and all segments of life.