Guardians of the Bojana River Mouth

By , 09 Jul 2018, 21:17 PM Lifestyle
Illustration Illustration Pobjeda

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July 9, 2018 - Bojana and its mouth fascinate with beauty, attract lovers of nature like magnets, waves and the eternal embrace of the river and the sea.

But this delta was, in a literal sense, fatal to many who paid tribute to their inexperience, because they were deceived by "the infinite shallow swirling whirlwind," the sudden change of depth and the strong torrents.

The facts show that even the best swimmers did not manage to save the sudden loss of ground under their feet and the strong currents, which would have pulled them out of the open, where they would lose power in the battle against the sea.

Right or the so-called first mouth, which was blocked last year, this year is wide, with a strong flow and speed. There are key dangers and fears that there will be no warnings and appeals for the situation from last month when a young life was lost and two saved, which could happen more often this summer, warned Batrićević’s, the informal guards of the mouth; a family that has saved more than 70 people over the past decades.

"Do you see where the river mouth itself is? There, just on the right, there is a few meters depth. People go to rest, as that group just now, they step down, then became pulled by the current and are left by themselves on a strong current. Instinctively, they try to combat the river with swimming, but it's an impossible mission because the more you fight, the more you get tired. And fatigue leads to cramps, loss of breath and strength, and then things go badly," says Perica Pešo Batrićević, a man who, during his lifetime, often swims and dives for the people who are drowning, and who already saved tens of those who were drowning or had already been left in "the deep blue".

You have to pull them out of the bottom, and only when they are taken over his knees, he draws water and returns them "to this world." The oldest Batrićević owns a medal for courage given in the former Yugoslavia, deserved for risky rescues during the catastrophic earthquake in 1979. He lives on the right bank of the Bojana, near the mouth. From their home’s terrace and mooring of his boat, there is an open view on the river mouth. Thanks to this view and the fact that someone of the Batrićević family, either Pešo, or his sons Aleksandar and Petar, stand alongside the water and save many lives. Their terrace is a kind of lighthouse that looks after those in trouble, and there were many over the years. The Bojana is not dangerous. The river mouth is very dangerous. And, you see there is no warning sign on either side of the mouth. There was a red flag in the corner of Ada, but no one cares about that. People are swimming without worry, walking in the very corner, although one step leads to trouble," warns the eldest Batrićević. At the end of June, there was an accident when Marko Mutić (24 years old) from Niksic lost the battle with the sea. Petar Batricevic, who, like his father, had numerous rescue operations, found himself that day on the terrace of their small home at Bojana.

"Andrija Pejovic informed me that someone called that two guys are drowning. We immediately jumped into a fast boat and went on a quest. We managed to find and pull out one of them (Dragan Baćović). Unfortunately, there was no trace of the other," said Batrićević with sadness, appealing to all those who hear something similar to alarm everyone around as soon as possible, because without that there is no timely reaction.

They expect nothing

No satisfaction, no compensation, we have never asked anyone for such. Our mission, by generations, is to save the ones in trouble, And when we go to rescue someone, there is no resignation and there is no way back. There is the risk, the head in the bag, but it is stronger than us, explains Petar, who is like a brother and a father on the same task. They even, at their own expense, ordered special rescue belts which become activated and inflated by pulling the lever. "With a regular waistcoat, we cannot save anyone because we cannot dive into the water. This will also reduce the risk for our own lives, and we can be of help as usual so far," he said.

Text by Pobjeda, on July 8th 2018, read more at CdM

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