NERETVA, river flowing into the Neretva channel; navigable for yachts drawing up to 4.5 m (mastheads up to 14 m) from the river mouth to the bridge in the town of Metkovic.
In the Neretva valley the bora blows with violence, particularly in the area around Kula Norinska village. In summer in the morning hours there is usually a breeze blowing seaward, down the valley and in the afternoon a wind blowing in from the sea. Under settled weather conditions the current is not strongly felt (about 2.5 knots) but it can attain a rate of 6 knots when the river is carrying a great amount of water.
Approach: Landmarks: the hexagonal red cement hut with a column exhibiting a red light on the head of the N mole at the river mouth, the green square hut with a column exhibiting a green light on the head of the S mole, the guardian's house on the S embankment and the cross on Galicnik Hill.
In the river mouth: the red light-buoy Gumanac topped by a cylinder (about 0.8 M south of the light on Visnjica cape headland); the green cylindrical light-buoy topped by a cone (785 m from the red light on the head of the N protective mole on a bearing of 294° from the red light on the head of the N protec tive mole); about 100 m from the red light on the head of the N mole, at a bearing of 240°, there is a green cylindrical buoy with a conical topmark, which should be left to starboard by incoming yachts (see Ploce).
The river mouth is entered S of the red Gumanac buoy. After clearing the light-buoy yachts should shape course north of the green light-buoy (small vessels as close to it as possible). When abreast the buoy, course should be altered so as to lead between the N molehead (red column on hut, red light) and the green cylindrical buoy topped with a cone. After passing the N molehead (red light) yachts should take a sharp turn towards the middle of the river mouth, between the N and S protective moles (green hut with column, green light).
Warning: Due to banks formed by deposits in the river mouth, it is advisable to keep in dredged channel. It is necesarry to start changing course between the two moleheads (with lights on them) on time as the current at the river entrance is stronger. Yachts are recommended to reduce speed before changing course (when abreast the green buoy topped by a pyramid). About 4 km upstream the Gospa shoal extends off the right bank. Another shoal is situated at the E end of the quay in Opuzen (near the spot at which Mala Neretva branches off). The NW edge of this shoal is marked by a black buoy, which should be left to starboard by yachts proceeding upstream. A road bridge of the Adriatic highway crosses the river at Rogotin village (pop. 727 in 1991), about 4 km upstream from the mouth (at highest water level the bridge has a vertical clearence of 14 m in the middle, reducing to 11 m at the piers). A high-tension cable with a vertical clearance of 15 m at highest water level spans the river 9.2 km upstream from the mouth, near the small town of Komin (pop. 1,546 in 1991).
Care should be taken to avoid collision with the numerous local craft (trupice), passing up and down the river or entering it from the side arms.
Special Regulations for Navigation in the Neretva River. Vessels may navigate in the Neretva any time of the day or night. Yachts must keep to the starboard side. Navigation in fog is prohibited. Yachts proceeding downstream must have an anchor ready for instant use astern. At night, anchoring yachts are required to display an additional white position light astern, as well as the white position light on the bow prescribed by the International Regulations for Prevention of Collision at Sea. Yachts passing other navigating or floating objects, installations on the river banks, places at which hydrotechnical operations are in progress, or inhabited places are required to reduce speed at least within 200 m of such objects, installations and places so as not to endanger their safety or cause demage. Vessels proceeding upstream (with the exception of towing tugs) must give way to vessels navigating downstream. Boats must give way to ships. A yacht which loses its manoeuvering capacity is required to drop anchor at a place where it will not obstruct other vessels. Moored yachts and yachts at anchor are forbidden to keep dinghies, rafts, etc. or any other protruding objects secured alongside.