Friend of Ukrainian refugee schoolgirl, 14, who died on Devon beach said had ... trends now
The Ukrainian schoolgirl who died after being found unconscious on a beach in Devon had 'local friends' and was loving life in Britain.
Albina Yevko, 14, had been living with a host family and her mother in Dawlish after fleeing Ukraine following Russia's invasion a year ago.
But the teenager, who attended a local school, was found on a beach on Saturday evening after she was reported missing. Albina was airlifted to hospital in Exeter but later died. Her death is being treated as unexplained.
A family friend in Ukraine said: 'Albina and her mother Inna fled to the UK almost as soon as the war began. We are all so shocked about the news from the UK.
'Everything was good with them in Britain. I know Albina had started to speak English, not too confident but she understood it well after a year or so.
Inna Yevko with her daughter Albina as a child in Ukraine. She spoke of her heartbreak today
Albina Yevko, 14, had been living in Dawlish after fleeing Ukraine with her mother following Russia's invasion
'She was going to a local school.'
Speaking from Albina's home city Kryvyi Rih, the friend said: 'I know they had both got used to their life in Britain, and loved it.
'Albina gained some local friends. I saw one girl in a picture with the family which hosted them in the UK…..so I was happy for Albina.'
In Ukraine before the war, the tragic girl had done well at school.
'She attended a music school and played the piano. I cannot say if she graduated but she definitely played the piano. She was so kind and always smiling,' the friend added.
Earlier her mother Inna Yevko said in a statement issued by Devon and Cornwall Police: 'Myself and my family are devastated to have lost our beautiful Albina. Nothing can ever replace her in our hearts. We ask that our privacy is respected at this incredibly painful time.'
Police were called to reports of a teenage girl missing from Dawlish on Saturday evening
Police close to the beach where Albina was found on Saturday
Police were called when the 'kind and caring' teenager was reported missing on Saturday evening.
Searches by a police helicopter and coastguard tracked Albina to a beach in the town where she was found unconscious. She later died at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
Officers said they are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death but it was not being treated as suspicious.
Sam Banks, headteacher at Dawlish College, where Albina was a year 9 student, paid tribute to the teen.
He said: 'Everyone in our school community has been devastated to