Monday, 30 May 2022

Missing Cessna Aircraft Found, All Four Passengers Killed in Crash

May 30, 2022 - A Cessna aircraft with four passengers flying from Split to Germany disappeared between Slunj and Rakovica around 11:30 am on Sunday. Today, after a search and rescue mission, the Head of Civil Protection Damir Trut has confirmed that all passengers were killed. An investigation is underway.

A private Cessna plane with four people disappeared on Sunday around 11:30 am between Slunj and Rakovica, reports It was flying from Split to Germany, and the Croatian Air Navigation Services informed the Civil Protection Operations Center about its disappearance north of Rakovica.


Image: Directorate of Civil Protection/Official Website

The latest update by the Directorate of Civil Protection was released today at 12:00 pm:

After an intensive search for a Cessna aircraft, which, despite adverse weather conditions, lasted almost 23 hours, today at 10:50 a drone spotted the remains of the aircraft (wing, tail, cabin parts) at a location south of Bročanska kosa, and immediately after the report, ground teams were sent to confirm the discovery. Police secured the area.

Unfortunately, it was confirmed that all passengers of the CESSNA aircraft were killed, and a police investigation follows.

We hereby, on behalf of the Directorate of Civil Protection and all operational forces, express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Since the report of the Croatian Air Navigation Services, which yesterday, May 29 at 11:40 am, informed the Civil Protection Operations Center about the missing aircraft north of Rakovica at an altitude of up to 2300 feet, and after the prompt reaction of the Civil Protection Operations Center and about 400 people took part in the search. 38 teams of 10 people were formed, consisting of members of the State Intervention Unit for Civil Protection, HGSS, police, firefighters, and hunters who know the terrain and provided useful information. Each team searched an area of ​​approximately 30 ha of demanding and difficult-to-access terrain. Since part of the area also refers to the Slunj military range, the Croatian Army is also involved in coordinating the search.

The entire search was coordinated by the Directorate of Civil Protection, which formed the Operational Base with a command communication vehicle on the site and, in addition to manpower (26 members of the SEC CZ and 7 RCZ employees), provided logistical support (a total of 13 drones - 10 HGSS- of these and 3 SEC CZ).

We thank everyone for their prompt and professional response.

According to the police, the pilot was Swiss, and the passengers were two German citizens and one person with Croatian citizenship.


Head of Directorate of Civil Protection, Damir Trut. (Image: Directorate of Civil Protection/Official website)

The head of the Civil Protection in the Republic of Croatia, Damir Trut, gave further information at a press conference.

Trut indicated that the search task is over. "As soon as the aircraft was found from the air, the police secured the space. Unfortunately, all the passengers of the aircraft were killed. I express my condolences to family and friends'', said Trut.

Trut said about 400 people were looking for the Cessna aircraft and that hunters who provided local information were also involved. He said that the entire search was managed by the Directorate of Civil Protection with the help of the HGSS, and thanked everyone. "This was a difficult, not an easy action, the area was demanding, wooded and hilly and without the drones that were in the ten teams it would have been harder".

Where exactly was it found?

He said that an investigation is now underway. He also said it will all take time and will not be completed today. The plane was said to have been found in a field with lots of sinkholes, with wet ground.

"It is near Broćanska Kosa, a few hundred meters south. As far as I know, the plane does not have a black box", said Trut. He added that the weather conditions were not good for flying. He also said that the pilot called the Pula flight control and told them that he had problems. So far, he could not provide details about the victims.

A private Cessna plane with four people disappeared on Sunday around 11:30 am between Slunj and Rakovica. It flew from Split to Germany, and the Croatian Air Navigation Services informed the Civil Protection Operations Center about its disappearance north of Rakovica. The Directorate of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior announced that the plane disappeared when it was at an altitude of about 700 meters.

This story is developing.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

12,403 Ukrainian Refuges in Croatia, HRK 3m Raised

ZAGREB, 5 April 2022 - There are 12,403 Ukrainian refugees in Croatia, Civil Protection director Damir Trut said on Tuesday, while Red Cross Croatia president Robert Markt said HRK 3 million had been raised as well as various goods collected.

They were visiting the reception centre for displaced Ukrainians in Gospić, one of three in Croatia.

Markt said that of the 131 Red Cross organisations in Croatia, 25 had asked for funds for the refugee crisis and that HRK 511,000 had been paid into their accounts.

In Lika-Senj County, 517 Ukrainians have been temporarily accommodated in hotels and motels. Trut said a call had been advertised in the county for their accommodation in privately-owned houses and flats, with utility bills to be paid by the government.

Psychosocial assistance has been provided to 2,657 Ukrainians. Twenty-two Ukrainian children from first to seventh grade have been enrolled in Gospić's Ivan Turić Elementary School.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Most Ukrainian Refugees Arrive in Croatia via Goričan Border Crossing

ZAGREB, 30 March 2022 - The Civil Protection Directorate head Damir Trut and the Croatian Red Cross executive president Robert Markt on Wednesday visited the busiest reception and transit centre for Ukrainian refugees, set up at the Goričan border crossing through which 8,300 Ukrainians have passed lately.

After being escorted to the reception and transit centre by Goričan Mayor Emanuel Sinković, Trut and Markt met with Međimurje County Prefect Matija Posavec.

 After the talk, Trut said that all efforts should be made to make sure that displaced persons from Ukraine are accommodated in the best possible way.

"Međimurje County is a very good example. Cooperation at the national, regional and local level is functioning by exchanging all the information on the needs that have to be resolved, from entering the Goričan border crossing where more than 80% of the displaced persons are entering Croatia to accepting them at the border crossing itself," said Trut.

He added that a majority of Ukrainian refugees have been accommodated in private properties while a smaller portion (15%) are staying in collective accommodations.

"That is why it is essential to activate and stimulate an even better response to the public call that the Interior Ministry and Civil Protection Directorate advertised three days ago calling for anyone with vacant premises or the opportunity to take in refugees," said Trut.

Robert Markt also commended Međimurje County for well-organised reception of refugees.

"We are by no means in a pleasant situation considering that we do not know how many people are coming to Croatia. The system has to be at its highest level the entire time. With the support of counties and their prefects, we do our job smoothly and all refugees who come to Croatia are being treated with dignity," underscored Markt.

County Prefect Posavec said that more than 11,000 displaced persons from Ukraine have come to Croatia and 8,300 of them entered at the Goričan crossing.

"At the moment, we have 165 Ukrainians accommodated here, some privately and some in hotels. Reception centres were available too but they were not necessary for now," said Posavec. He added that about 30 Ukrainian children have been enrolled in schools in the county and 21 interpreters have been engaged.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Damir Trut: Unit for Maritime, Underwater and Cave Rescues Established

March the 8th, 2022 - A brand new diving Croatian unit for maritime, underwater and cave rescues has been established according to Civil Protection Directorate director Damir Trut, who spoke about it for Morski TV recently.

As Morski writes, Croatia has a very long coast and is one of the most indented countries in the whole world due to its complex network of islands, bays and peninsulas. As a result of its geography, it has become increasingly attractive to boaters, divers, as well as other guests who want to enjoy the Adriatic Sea in ways that go beyond having a swim at the beach. If we add speleology exploration to such types of tourism, and then add rivers and other freshwater areas on land, then we realise that the organisation of rescue units trained and equipped for rescues in diverse and often very dangerous conditions is more than necessary.

Due to the growing need for such a service, the newly formed specialist diving group within the water/maritime rescue module of the State Civil Protection Intervention Unit was presented to the public recently. The director of the Civil Protection Directorate of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Damir Trut, revealed more.

There will be centres of special diving forces in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek, says Damir Trut

''The range of tasks that Civil Protection Directorate carries out is really diverse. The State Civil Protection Intervention Unit is a unit that has the highest rank of equipment and training in all of Croatia for the care and assistance of the population. It has multiple segments; for rescue from rubble, rescue from water, rescue in contaminated areas, and the list goes on. These are all areas we've strategically improved and planned to add more to over the years.

In addition to the special training of rescue people, additional equipment is needed to make the job faster, more efficient and safer. All the conditions in which rescuers work are the most dangerous of all. Water rescues are another element that lifeguards need to actively work on. They must have good training and have proper licenses, but also good equipment in order to be able to help those most in need.

What is the number of members and where will these people and their centres be stationed?

''The diving unit is within the water rescue unit, which also works in floods, but we've expanded it to cover maritime and vessel rescue missions in the tourist season, which is something that is increasingly needed. These units are located in four locations: Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and Osijek. At the Zagreb location, they have three more elements: the media part of it all and the technical team that deals with caves, mapping and the use of the most sophisticated technical equipment, such as robots or scanners. Today, this technique gives us information from greater depths on how and in what way something or someone is endangered.

There are two teams of eight members at each location, meaning the sixteen most capable and skilled divers, who go through different levels of licensing and who are then able to do such jobs. Much of this is funded by EU projects. The Slovenian water rescue unit has a robot that we don't have yet. We will also procure this equipment, we're just waiting for the tenders to open and then we'll start heading in that direction ourselves, too.

Human casualties do tragically occur, and unfortunately there have already been such situations in the Croatian Adriatic...

This is especially true during the tourist season. Accidents do happen then. And we in Croatia have various organisations under the coordination and auspices of the Coast Guard, which jointly participate in rescue operations at sea. This segment of rescue from the depths was not well covered, so we analysed and came to the conclusion that it is necessary to train and equip a unit that can perform very demanding tasks under the sea and at depths of over a hundred metres.

While we didn't have such a unit, there were situations such as an unfortunate situation in the Sibenik area when special forces from Lucko in Zagreb had to wait to retrieve the body of the injured fisherman, because it was very inconvenient to dive down to the wreck itself. Will these types of interventions be easier now?

We did and we still do have divers who can carry out such tasks, but they weren't properly organised. They existed within different organisations and bodies and as a result it was very difficult to carry out an organised rescue. It's important for the unit that it is organised and has a sufficient number of people and that they also have backups and replacements.

You've recently done exercises in this particular segment. What did they look like?

''We did it through several elements, we wanted to see if all we'd discussed could be harmonised with the procedures according to which the divers will continue to work. We carried out the rescue of someone who was drowning in a river, then we undertook a cave rescue and dealt with the rescue of people from a vessel that had sunk out at sea. We also did the technical part of filming that ship and making a 3D model of the ship so that we could analyse and see from the land everything that was needed. After the 3D analysis, a 3D model can be printed, so that literally on the table in front of you, engineers who are not divers can provide advice or prepare all the technical elements needed.

In addition to all of that, do rescue divers also use submarines, underwater and flying drones, as well as amphibious vehicles?

Yes, they do.  A diver without equipment is still a diver, and with the equipment he is a specialist who can quickly and efficiently provide assistance to a victim and in the particular area in which an unfortunate event has happened.

Have there been rescues so far in caves and in flooded areas?

Yes, the response to such situations has so far been mostly provided by the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, but that still isn't enough, because they don't have the capacities for a longer and stronger rescue. We've invited all those who are the best at this to the personnel organisation of the State Intervention Unit. So we have members of the police, firefighters, and the Mountain Rescue Service. Everyone on the team is a volunteer. They're placed on call as needed, as it isn't necessary to have active professionals all the time,'' concluded Damir Trut.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service Book Presented by Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute in Gospić

May 16, 2021 - Suitable for the 30th anniversary of one beloved Croatian civil protection organisation, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service book was presented by the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute based in Gospic.

With many tourists and visitors (and Croats too), not being too careful when going on ''their little adventures'' up mountains such as the Dinara, Velebit, or elsewhere, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) is as busy as Batman in Gotham. What with saving people who get lost, being bitten by poisonous animals that live on the mountains, or dealing with people who have hurt themselves in any way, they truly are praised as superheroes and are often the most beloved people on Croatian TV, either in commercials or when the press, telling their heroic tales.

Apart from mountains, their training was also shown to be useful for easing the numerous issues left following the 2020 earthquakes too.

Marking the 30 year anniversary of HGSS's station in Gospić, the Gospić Culture And Information Centre saw the presentation of the book ''The Day Replaced the Night, The Bura Wind Cleared Our View“ (Dan Je Zamijenio Noć, Bura Nam Očistila Pogled), last Friday. As reported by the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute website, the authors of this pop-science monograph are dr. Ivan Brlic, dr. Nikola Simunic and Dr. Anita Busljeta Tonkovic.

''The Gospic HGSS station, even though with a relatively small member count, operates on the biggest and toughest rescue surfaces in all of the Republic of Croatia. This monograph, through geographical, historical and sociological context, aims to explain how important, but also how difficult the mountain rescuer's job is. The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service book, covering over 150 pages in an honest and interesting way, shows why HGSS is one of the cornerstone operative forces of civil protection and that, in its professional, altruistic, and humane approach, contributes to the overall civil rescue system with the goal of saving human lives,'' they stated from the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute.

Apart from the authors of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service book themselves, the event saw HGSS Croatia's main man, Josip Granic, the director of the HGSS Gospic station, Josip Bozicevic, Deputy Interior Minister Damir Trust, as well as the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute Headmaster, Dr. Zeljko Holjevac sit down and speak. All of them agreed that this book is an important statement of gratefulness to HGSS members for all of the hard work they do.

The book is a product of the Ivo Pilar Institute's successful collaboration with the institutions in Gospic, and the wish for the further and deeper continuation of that cooperation was expressed too. In case of need, HGSS can be reached by calling 112. But, to prevent becoming yet another damsel (or a bachelor) in distress, it's not a bad idea to check their safety guidelines for enjoying the outdoors in Croatia.

Not to far from Gospic is the North Velebit National Park with its glorious mountains, about which you can learn more on our TC page.

For more about the Ivo Pilar Social research Institute in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 28 December 2020

Damir Trut Talks Travel Passes for Petrinja Residents Following Quake

December the 28th, 2020 - It seems that 2020 wants to end things how it began, with an earthquake. Following a truly horrendous year which kicked off in Croatia with an earthquake in Zagreb and the beginning of a terrible coronavirus epidemic, yet another earthquake shook Petrinja, Zagreb and other areas this morning. Damir Trut of the National Civil Protection Headquarters has spoken out following the quake.

The current anti-epidemic regime which requires Croatia's residents to secure passes (propusnice) with good reason in order to travel in and out of the county in which their permanent place of residence is registered has of course been a question mark above the heads of those who live in affected areas like Petrinja, who for material reasons, may not be able to remain at home following this morning's earthquake and accompanying aftershocks.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Damir Trut, Assistant Minister of the Interior and Director of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, told N1 that all residents of Sisak, Petrinja and the surrounding areas affected by the earthquake will be able to get passes without any issue if their homes have become unsafe as a result of the quake and if they need to travel for medical purposes.

''As soon as possible, passes will be created and given out for all those who no longer have the opportunity to remain living in the area, have properties in other areas they can go to, and for those who want to travel elsewhere to stay with their families,'' said Damir Trut, adding that such questions haven't yet come about, but they're likely to at some point given the situation which occurred this morning.

''This is a reason which is more than suitable for the issuing of the necessary passes. Those who are coming from Zagreb who need to visit their parents or come and take a look at any damage to properties, are free to do so,'' he added.

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