"On one side of the table in the admiral's salon, I was sitting completely alone, and on the other side was a whole suite of high
officers in the full shine of their uniforms", recalls Brajkovic.
"After all the organizational and financial complications I had to go through in the months before the transfer, I again very strongly felt what I was buying an important, vital monument of the maritime heritage, the ship that was and still remains the symbol of maritime culture for its uniqueness and its beauty."
"While the Vis was leaving the pier, sirens on all ships in the port of Bar went off for full three minutes. Such moments really give you goose bumps" - says Arsen Brajkovic.
For four years, the ship subsisted by a Bar pier, and it never once sailed
For four years, the ship subsided by a Bar pier, and it never once sailed. Then, it became clear that something needed to be done before its total decay. There was no money for its reconstruction, but there were ideas to give the ship as a gift to the maritime museum, but even this idea required further investments.
Eventually, it was silently decided to spread the word that the ship was on sale, which quickly reached Arsen Brajkovic. In June 2002, completely alone, he travelled to Bar to carefully inspect the ship. It was not very easy, especially regarding the fact that he was a foreign citizen in a war port.
No way I could completely inspect the ship before buying it
"Naturally, there was no way I could perform any check up of the structure, nor was there a way for me to see the submarine part of the hull", says Brajkovic. "I had to, actually, make a decision only on the basis of as detailed possible the Visual check up."
Following the return to Pula, the planning of the first phase of return was launched - the payment of the ship and its transportation to Pula. Even before the towing, Brajkovic had to decide where in Croatia he would take the ship and state what exactly he had bought and to put it in order as much as possible before taking it to Pula. Kraljevica was the choice.