Piran – The police rescued a 47-year-old Turkish woman from the Dragonja River on Thursday evening, as she was trying to cross it to enter Slovenia, carrying on her shoulders her 10-year-old daughter, who fell into the water and was swept downstream. Although a rescue mission was launched immediately, the child has not been found yet.
The Koper Police Department announced on Friday that somebody noticed a group of people on Thursday evening, who were trying to swim across the Dragonja River and cross the border between Croatia and Slovenia illegally.
Police officers from Piran were dispatched to the scene, and upon arrival, they noticed a woman holding on to a tree in the middle of the river. An officer from Croatia had already attempted to help her, but due to the raging water, neither of them could make it back to the riverbank.
Slovenian officers joined the rescue attempt and managed to get the Croatian officer and the woman out of the water, with the help of the citizen who called the police and was still present at the scene, and a ladder brought from the Croatian side.
The woman was found to be a 47-year-old Turkish national. Two of her children, aged 18 and 5, were already on the Slovenian side, while her third child, aged 13, was still on the Croatian side. As the whole situation took place at the border line, they were all returned to Croatia.
During the subsequent proceedings, the police found that the woman had another child on her shoulders while crossing the river, a 10-year-old girl who fell into the water and was swept away by the river.
Seven police officers, two police dog handlers and 20 firefighters searched the riverside area during the night but did not manage to find the child. The search continues today.