Some monitoring surveys were carried out in spring seasons, during March 2003, along the Southern Adriatic coast. A vessel mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler was used to measure the vertical distributions of current velocities in some selected stationing points. At the same time and locations also a CTD recorder was used to measure water temperature and salinity. The aim of the paper is to investigate these field measurements of sea currents and to model the measured velocity vertical profiles by means of some classical empirical laws, thus testing their ability to reproduce the velocity field. The analyzed data refer to a complex domain, characterized by an irregular bathymetry and a roughness due to non uniform seabed vegetation. Consequently the validity of the theoretical velocity laws along with their classic parameter values has not necessarily to be expected. Therefore, a modified form of the velocity-defect law is here proposed.