New details are emerging about the drunken date at the top European tourist spot which ended in an Australian couple falling 11m and suffering catastrophic injuries.
Dubrovnik police have confirmed that the woman, 26, and the man, 34, were kissing on the old town wall at Pile in Dubrovnik, between two of the Croatian port’s famous ‘Games of Thrones’ filming locations at 2.35am last Saturday morning.
Dubrovnik is a tourist mecca in summer with its spectacular weather, cheap alcohol and vibrant party scene. The city attracts more than a million vistors every year, and has previously been named the most ‘over touristed’ city in Europe.
The local hospital confirmed the blood alcohol tests revealed the man had a 0.2 reading – four times the legal Australian driving limit – while the woman was 0.3, or a staggering six times the legal driving limit.
The wall from which the couple is believed to have fallen is a popular selfie spot, which frames the two fortresses, Lovrijenac and Bokar, in the background.
The spot from where they fell has panoramic views over the Adriatic Sea between the clifftop forts.
Dr Ivan Benčić, a trauma specialist at Dubrovnik General Hospital where the man is being treated for a broken leg, says the young Australian woman suffered cerebral damage and multiple fractures in her vertebrae in the fall.
She is in the intensive care unit in an induced coma while the man is stable and recovering.
Andrijana Biskup, from the Dubrovnik-Neretva police, confirmed the couple had been cuddling or kissing when the fall happened and said alcohol may have played a part.
The couple were kissing and cuddling on a ledge before they tumbled 11m to the ground below and the man broke his leg with the woman, 26, sustaining serious head, neck and spine injuries
The area where the couple were out enjoying a night before the tragic accident is above (left) at the seafront of the Croatian port of Dubrovnik which is a tourist mecca in summer, especially for Australians
The couple were believed to have been on a night out in Dubrovnik’s old town area, which is packed with tourists every summer.
The area has millions of visitors every year and the couple was said to be out together between the upmarket Nautika restaurant and the Dubravka cafe and bistro restaurants.
Australian posters on social media who have been there said ‘the walk around the wall has some very high spots. It was pretty scary.’
The pair slipped and fell, reportedly when the woman leaned against her partner, and they toppled over and dropped to the ground below.
The couple was between the Dubravka cafe and Nautika restaurants which overlook the Adriatic and the historic forts when they slipped and fell 11m to the ground below
One Croatian man complained about the number of ‘pissed Aussies’ attracted to his country by the lure of cheap beer, which he said costs just $AUD1.30
Tourists throng at the seaside Dubrovnik area at the wall or ledge from which the couple is believed to have fallen
Ambulances were called and both were transported the 3km to Dubrovnik General Hospital, where the woman was placed in the hospital’s ICU and treated by trauma surgeons.
Both were breathalysed at the hospital.
The hospital’s director Dr. Marija Bekić told the local media outlet Dubrovacki Vjesnik that the young woman is in a life-threatening condition with spinal and brain damage and had fractured several vertebrae and her neck.
Dr Benčić said she was in a ‘bad state’ due to her head injuries while the male patient was in better condition having already undergone surgery on his broken leg.
‘We are constantly monitoring her and doing everything we can to fight for her life,’ Dr Ivan Benčić, said, ‘As far as the male is concerned he had a far better run than she did.’
On social media. people posted about the fact that Croatia had become the ‘new Bali’ for Australian tourists and one Croatian man grumbled that ‘we are getting sick of pissed Aussies. Every summer the same troublemakers.
‘We should increase the price of beer (I) reckon, still too cheap!’ When asked how much beer costs in Croatia, he replied $AUD 1.30.
However sympathetic Croatians noted the danger of the spot where the accident took place, one posting online that authorities should ‘urgently put an iron fence on the wall… The wall is up to the navel… The city needs to do this urgently. Hundreds of tourists are taking pictures and taking selfies here’.
Another suggested that a net should be put under the wall.
Dubrovnik police have determined the fall was an accident.
DFAT Australia said it had no further information on the couple.