Hvar Emergency Response Saving Lives: Timeframe from Boat to Split Hospital

Total Croatia News

August 14, 2019 – As the investigation into the death of an Italian tourist focuses on carbon monoxide poisoning on his chartered boat, spare a thought for the fantastic Hvar emergency response which undoubtedly helped save the lives of others. 

It is the top story in Croatia, and one which is evolving rapidly. 

As previously reported on TCN, 57-year-old Italian tourist Eugenio Vinci was found dead on his charter boat yesterday, with five other passengers also seriously ill. 

Initial reports pinpointed a well-known Hvar restaurant as the possible cause after it emerged that the group had dined there and ate mussels. This theory was soon discounted as it emerged that only two of the party had eaten the mussels while all six had fallen ill, Vinci fatally. The police and Hvar health inspectors closed the restaurant as a precaution, but gave it a clean bill of health after a thorough inspection, and the restaurant reopened last night. 

The current theory of what happened is that the victims suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a leak on the boat they had chartered. The boat is currently on the Hvar riva and being investigated by police. Interestingly, Italian criminal police have also arrived on Hvar to take part in the investigation. A sign, perhaps, that there may be more to this story?

One aspect of this story which has not been touched upon so far, but is more than worthy of a mention, is the extremely quick emergency response of the Hvar emergency services. 

There is no hospital on the island, but yesterday’s events showed that in time of true need, the response can be magnificent. Here is what happened yesterday:

Emergency call from the boat to Hvar Port Authority was at 10.10 am.

The Hvar Port Authority called the Hvar emergency services Police to come to the riva because they was a situation with a dead person on a yacht.
Within 30 minutes the Hvar emergency services had arranged for a helicopter transfer and there were two flights from helipad north of Hvar town carrying five sick passengers. The Hvar fire department in that time secured the helipad.
Total transfer time from the boat to the hospital in Split was less than one hour.

The two children remain in intensive care, and our thoughts are with them, while the three adults are now out of danger, thanks to both the excellent hospital care by Split’s dedicated medical team and the outstanding emergency response. 

We will update this story as we get more, but a big thanks to all Hvar’s emergency workers for the great job you do. 


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