Verena Steiner (26) from Lienz, Austria, rescued a young refugee from the highest calamity with a spontaneous, dangerous mission.
The young woman has been involved with the Lienz water rescue since her early youth and is a water-spring rescuer. Training as a lifeguard reveals a deep desire to save lives, but when it really comes to life and death, a clear mind, courage and skill is required.
On Corpus Christi Day 2016, Verena Steiner happens to be with her little son at the Draupark playground, when she unexpectedly becomes a life-saver. A cyclist passed her and shouted that someone had fallen into the water. Verena sees the man drift by and jumps without hesitation into the water. Dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, she floats after the unconscious. It is a 21-year-old Somali who slipped on a wet stone on the riverbank and fell into the raging Drava.
"You get such an adrenaline rush that you do not feel the cold at all. In addition, one develops an incredible power in such a moment ", explains the 26-year-old after her employment.
So she manages to keep the motionless body above the water and to swim to the shore despite the torrential current. There, the Somali is first supplied by the summoned emergency doctor and taken to the hospital in Lienz, where he is hospitalized for observation. In addition to hypothermia, he suffered only minor injuries.
Verena's reaction when she learned that she was proposed for Filippas Engel: "I have acted on the motto of the Austrian Water Rescue - fight wet death - and therefore see the greatest satisfaction in the successful rescue of a human life. However, I'm quite uncomfortable with how this has been made a big deal ".