Lonely Planet Writer

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service uses humour to educate tourists on Twitter

Humour can be a powerful tool in conveying important messages to heterogeneous audiences. Addressing anyone who might be in need of their help some day, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) seems to have mastered this method, as their Twitter and Facebook pages burst with memes, such as the reminder that ‘drinking alcohol doesn’t really count as ‘hydrating’ on hot summer days’.

HGSS Croatia rescue jeep
Let’s not meet by accident – HGSS rescue vehicle. Image: HGSS Facebook

Spotlighting everyday behaviours which may lead to trouble at the wrong place and the wrong time, the Rescue Service social media combines comic relief with important tidbits on how to stay safe. Not hiking in flip-flops seems to top the charts every year, unless, of course, you’d really like to be featured on their Twitter page. Bringing ample water and food is also commonly highlighted, just like choosing selfie locations intelligently. Apparently posing on rocks over abysses got a few people in touch with the rescue services!

While all of these sound completely rational, they were in fact based on real-life experiences. For the occasions when our common sense eludes us, it’s good to be familiar with the Rescue Service basic safety rules for exploring natural beauties somewhere:

  • Always be informed: about the terrain, the level of difficulty and weather conditions (especially local winds).
  • Due to wind or wet clothes, external temperature might feel cooler than it actually is.
  • Assess your capabilities honestly and choose your route accordingly.
  • Pack smartly: include proper gear, clothing and shoes, and bring supplies of food and water sufficient to last through the entire undertaking. Always bring a first aid kit!
  • Inform your family and loved ones about the route you intend to take and stick to the plan.
  • Make sure your battery is charged for emergency calls. If the signal is weak, use SMS.
A HGSS rescue helicopter during an exercise
HGSS rescue helicopter in action. Image: HGSS Split Facebook

If, despite good advice and funny tweets, your spontaneity still gets the best of you when travelling, make sure you know the emergency phone number in the country.

In Croatia, it is 112 and it will connect to some fantastic people who will come to your rescue… and possibly even make a meme about you!

By Vesna Celebic