The body of the missing six-year-old girl who fell overboard during a Father’s Day outing on the River Rhine has been found by divers almost a week later.
The tragic incident happened on 30th May, Father’s Day in Germany, when the boat carrying two men and two young girls capsized near the north-eastern French town of Gerstheim in the department of Bas-Rhin department, on the German border.
According to reports, a group of seven family members, including five Romanians and two Germans all living in Germany, went to the banks of the River Rhine with their motorised dinghy for a fun day in the sun.
Disaster struck when four relatives went out in the vessel and the motor failed.
The dinghy was then dragged towards a weir where it capsized.
One of the men on the boat, who has not been named, managed to hold onto a concrete parapet and was eventually rescued.
However, three others, only identified as Florin M., 29, and his nieces Ela, 6, and Maria, 4, were sucked into the weir’s whirlpool and drowned, according to local media.
All the bodies were retrieved from the river except for little Ela who remained missing.
A German-French team of police and rescue workers went looking for Ela with several vessels, a helicopter and a team of divers.
A spokesman for the Bas-Rhin Prefecture said: “Searches have continued, especially along the banks, on both sides of the Rhine. However, there is a lot of vegetation and this is making the operation difficult.”
Divers have now managed to find the body of six-year-old Ela on the German side of the Rhine, not far from the French town of Gerstheim.
It now brings the total number of deaths to four as Florin’s 27-year-old brother Utu M. died when he jumped in from the riverbank to help his relatives, but suffered a heart attack in the water.
Grandfather Viorel Andrecu, 54, said: “I am devastated. I have lost two sons and two granddaughters.”
The investigation is currently ongoing.