Football Supporters Get Out of Hand As Croatia’s Island of Love, Galešnjak, Burns

Lauren Simmonds

Facebook/Vatrogasci - oni su nasi Heroji

Playing with fire rarely brings positive results.

As Morski writes on the 6th of July, 2018, at about 20:00 yesterday on the island of Galešnjak located in the Pašman channel, which is well known to the general public both in and outside of Croatia owing to the island’s charming and very specific heart shape, a fire broke out. The news was initially published on the Facebook page Firefighters – They are our heroes (Vatrogasci – Oni su naši Heroji), and while fires do occur naturally at this time of year, the circumstances surrounding the fire’s outbreak are extremely disappointing.

The Zadar Fire Department confirmed the information that there were about a hundred people on the island at the time of the fire, all of whom were successfully transferred to safety.

But just what exactly were around a hundred people doing on an island on which there’s no permanent population? A call to football fans posted on Facebook was revealed, stating that fans are invited to come to the island with torches to support the Croatian national football team before the quarterfinals match with Russia.


In an incredibly poorly thought out move, and a disrespectful one at that, considering the horrendous fires that devastated parts of Dalmatia last summer, someone actually thought it was a wise move to invite more than a hundred people to bring flares to the small island, on which there is an abundance of vegetation, during fire season. It’s fortunate that the participants of this ”event” were evacuated in time and that nobody was injured in any way. As far as is currently known, the rescuers came in the form of a local fire brigade from Sv. Filip i Jakov in the Zadar area, and they are to thank for the fact that no harm was done.

The Facebook event itself invited all interested people over 18 years of age to go to the most well-known island of Galešnjak, and that the departure was to be at 19:00 near the cemetery in Turanj. They added that the goal of the gathering was to get a photo with a drone to show their support to the national team currently in Russia. It was also stated that participants would be informed of more detailed instructions upon arrival on the island by the organiser, before asking for people to please confirm their planned arrival in a comment or via inbox.

The police have confirmed that luckily nobody was physically harmed and that the organisers are known to them.

Thankfully, the fire was dealt with quickly, followed by the identification of responsible persons who were known to the police, as well as all of the participants in this event, and the case is now in the phase of being processed.

An investigation into the incident is now underway, and while it’s difficult to predict what the course of action will be, given the circumstances of the event, the probable outcome of the investigation could also go in the direction of Article 215 of the Criminal Code, which could result in a six month to five year prison sentence.


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