Mother calls for safety measures after her daughter drowned

Grieving mother of Ukrainian refugee, 14, who drowned after falling from a Devon wall calls for further safety measures

  • Albina Yevko fell whilst walking near Dawlish beach in March this year  
  • Network Rail has said handrails would be difficult to install and maintain

A grieving mother of a teenage girl who died after falling from a sea wall in Devon is calling on Network Rail to make safety improvements to prevent somebody else getting hurt.

Schoolgirl Albina Yevko, 14, suffered multiple injuries in the accident at Dawlish, Devon earlier this year.

Her mother, Inna, wants her daughter’s death to inspire change, she wants to see handrails or lighting installed.

But Network Rail has said handrails would be difficult to install and maintain.

Speaking of her daughter, Inna said: ‘She was not just my daughter. She was everything for me.’

Albina Yevko, 14, had been living in Dawlish after fleeing Ukraine with her mother following Russia’s invasion

Inna Yevko with her daughter Albina as a child in Ukraine

Inna Yevko (right) mother of Albina Yevko pictured with her friend Viktoriia Zviholska (left), both fled Ukraine and have been living in Dawlish 

‘We were together in Ukraine and she was my friend. She was my child. She was a person that I could talk to and she taught me to love,’ she added.    

The pair had had been living with a host family after fleeing Ukraine following Russia’s invasion last year. 

A friend of the family Viktoriia Zviholska, 38, said Albina had ‘rejoiced’ at her new school in England and found new friends since moving. 

On Saturday March 4, Albina had been walking her familiar route home along the sea wall but was later found unconscious on the beach having fallen.

She was airlifted to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where she later died. 

Many local people have been upset by the tragic accident and a petition has been set up urging Network Rail to make changes.

‘There’s nothing to stop anyone falling’, Inna’s friend, Rosie Dawson said. 

‘There’s nothing to stop anyone who’s tripped or been distracted by a train or by their phone. 

‘There could be lights, there could be luminous paint on the very edge, there could be railings.’ 

‘This is a child’s life and it could be another child’s life. 

‘Or it could be someone with a baby in a pram,’ she added. 

Searches by a police helicopter and coastguard tracked down the teenager to a beach in the town and she was airlifted to the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital 

Police close to the beach where Albina was found on Saturday

A Network Rail spokesman said: ‘We were saddened to hear of the passing of Albina Yevko and we’ve met with the family to express our condolences and discuss their concerns relating to the sea wall. 

‘Following the collapse of the sea wall in 2014, we conducted a risk assessment of the wall. 

‘Now that we have completed the new sea wall at Dawlish, we will do a new risk assessment to understand if there have been any changes which would affect the level of risk in this area. 

‘Handrails along all sections of the sea wall would be difficult to install and maintain effectively given the harsh coastal environment. 

‘All options will be considered as part of the new risk assessment.’ 

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