The Death of War Hero Marino Jakominić

Marino Jakominić, commander of the “Sharks” Special Police Unit of the Rijeka Police Department and hero of the Homeland War died on this day in 1992.

Jakominić was born on 13 September 1956 in Rijeka where he completed his primary and secondary education. He then found employment at the INA oil refinery in Rijeka but wanted to become a police officer. Jakominić’s family and friends were surprised but the young rascal from the Kantrida district was persistent. He went for a medical examination, completed a course at Valbandon near Pula and become an officer in 1979. Shortly thereafter, Jakominić enrolled and graduated from the Advanced Police Academy at the Faculty of Criminological Sciences in Zagreb. He advanced and became an Inspector and then Assistant Commander in the Crime Division.

Jakominić joined in the defense of Croatia at the beginning of the Homeland War. He was first sent to the besieged area of Topusko in the summer of 1991 along with his with fellow police officers from the Rijeka Police Department. On his 35th birthday that autumn, Jakominić returned to Rijeka from the field and was appointed commander of the “Sharks” Special Police Unit. That same day, he immediately departed for Gospić where his special forces participated in the defense of the eastern part of the city and helped capture the large “Stanko Opsenica” military base of the Yugoslav People’s Army  (YPA) in Gospić. This experience proved invaluable in the following months when the “Sharks” and other Croatian forces took control of numerous YPA facilities in the city of Rijeka.

With the signing of the Sarajevo Agreement and ensuing armistice, the “Sharks” returned to regular police duties and Jakominić was responsible for organization and logistical care of the unit. In April of 1992 the unit made its way by water to the then besieged Dubrovnik. During the deblockade of the city and liberation of the southern territory towards Župa and Konavle, he distinguished himself with his commanding style, actions and compassion shown for individuals in the line of duty.

He was a born leader, authoritative, confident, brave, firm and extremely honest. When he spoke – he had a deep, throaty voice – not a fly was heard and everyone listened. Wherever he appeared, he aroused awe and was extremely respected, not only by his comrades-in-arms but also by members of other units and generals. He won over everyone who would come into contact with him with his charisma and rude charm and was extremely protective at the same time, like a father taking care of his children.

Hari Brnad and Marinko Marjanović, comrades of Marino Jakominić

In the summer of 1992, it was decided that the special police forces of the Ministry of the Interior would take control of the entire area between Gospić, Rizvanuša and the peak of Visočica Mountain. Special unit bases were formed on this axis and tasked with preventing the incursion of terrorist groups across the Velebit mountain range towards Dalmatia as well as monitoring the situation on the demarcation lines as the town of Gospić was located very close to the frontline. This was part of the mission known as “Poskok 1”. The “Sharks” led by Commander Marino Jakominić were part of the participating Croatian forces.

In the early morning of 29 August 1992 Jakominić and five Gospić special forces officers were ambushed near Rizvanuša as Serbian terrorists from Divoselo shot up a Croatian police truck. Four policemen were wounded, one fell out of the vehicle and Marino Jakominić was killed by a single bullet that pierced his heart. He left behind his wife Dušica, 16-year-old daughter Nataša and 12-year-old son Vedran.

The first street named after a fallen Homeland War veteran in Rijeka was named after Marino Jakominić and is located in the Kantrida district of Rijeka. A patrol boat of the Police Administration of Primorje-Gorski Kotar was also named in his honour.

Photos– 24 sata

Sources
Literature
Marinić, Borna. Specijalna jedinica policije “OSA” u Domovinskom ratu. Sisak: Udruga SJP OSA, 2018
Ogurlić, Dragan. Rijeka u Domovinskom ratu. Rijeka: Grad Rijeka, 2008

Internet
Meri Tomljanović: “Bio je rođeni vođa, poštovan i hrabar: Njega su svi slušali…”, 24 sata, accessed on August 16, 2020, https://www.24sata.hr/news/bio-je-ro-eni-vo-a-postovan-i-hrabar-njega-su-svi-slusali-610543

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