On Lake Maggiore (Italy), a tourist boat capsized on Sunday evening. Four people were killed in the accident – among the victims were secret agents.
Rome – A birthday party on Lake Maggiore (Italy) ended in a fatal accident. A tourist boat capsized on Sunday evening. Passengers and crew landed in the ice-cold water. The boat, according to eyewitness accounts, sank rapidly. Some passengers were able to swim to the shore about 150 meters away, others were rescued from the lake by boats. For four people, however, any help came too late. Two women and two men died, including the captain's wife – a 50-year-old Russian woman. The three other fatalities worked for the secret service.
Fatal boat accident on Lake Maggiore: Secret service agents celebrate birthday
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that one of the fatalities was a man "in his fifties" from Israel who had previously served in the security forces. In addition, a 62-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman died, both of whom worked for an Italian intelligence service, according to the Italian authorities. "The two employees, who belong to the intelligence service, took part in a social gathering organized on the occasion of the birthday of a member of the group," it said.
Ten survivors of the boat accident were already on Monday morning in a military plane on the way to Tel Aviv, reports the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The Italians were "hastily" evacuated from emergency rooms and hotels.
Tourist boat capsizes on Lake Maggiore. Rescue divers and helicopter crews search for missing people (May 28) and recover four dead. © Twitter Screenshot Vigili del Fuoco
Hurricane and thunderstorms: 16-meter tourist boat capsizes on Lake Maggiore
The tourist boat sailed on Lake Maggiore off the coast near Lisanza at the southern end of the lake on Sunday evening (May 28). According to initial findings, the boat was surprised by a storm with strong winds and hail. Apparently, a hurricane caught the houseboat "Gouria" and caused it to capsize. There were 23 people on board – including two crew members. However, there was only room for a maximum of 16 people on the 15-meter boat, local media report. This had already had an impact on the maneuverability of the boat under normal circumstances – as well as in stormy weather.
A "concrete weather warning" was not known, the mayor of Sesto Calende, Giovanni Buzzi, told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Monday (29 May). Even the civil protection had confirmed this to him. The houseboat (built in 1982) had set sail from Sesto Calende on Sunday evening before capsizing and sinking.
Four dead after boat accident on Lake Maggiore – investigations are underway
Whether the weather was the main cause of the fatal boat accident must be clarified by the public prosecutor's office. In the civil protection bulletin of May 28 at 12:27 p.m., there was probably a severe weather warning for the Varese lakes and the foothills of the Alps, reports the Italian TV channel Sky tg24. Also, whether maintenance work had been carried out regularly on the houseboat. The fatalities are also to be investigated. (ml)