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Lake Maggiore: Confidential secret agent papers in a sunken houseboat? Investigators want to recover wreckage

2023-06-01T03:42:35.102Z

Highlights: Divers are in the process of recovering the houseboat – also called "shipwreck 007" in the Italian media – from the bottom of Lake Maggiore. Members of the Israeli secret service Mossad and also Italian agents were on board. Hail, storm and rain took the company by surprise. A hurricane apparently caused the boat to capsize. All passengers landed in the ice-cold water. Some swam to the shore about 150 meters away, others were pulled out of the lake by boats.



Lake Maggiore (Italy): Divers try to bring the "shipwreck-007" and its secrets to the surface. © IMAGO/Puricelli

After the accident on Lake Maggiore, many questions remain unanswered. Members of the Israeli secret service Mossad and also Italian agents were on board the houseboat.

Sesto Calende – Divers are in the process of recovering the houseboat – also called "shipwreck 007" in the Italian media – from the bottom of Lake Maggiore (Italy). Photos show carabinieri trying to bring the wreck to the surface of the water with air cushions. A complex operation that, according to the local press, is taking place in seclusion on Lake Maggiore. Carabinieri guard the access to the marina of Sesto Calende. More and more details are leaking out, fueling speculation.

Lake Maggiore (Italy): Divers try to bring the "shipwreck-007" and its secrets to the surface. © IMAGO/Puricelli

Secret agents drown at party in Lake Maggiore

It almost sounds like a scene from a script for a spy thriller: intelligence agents from the Israeli secret service Mossad and the Italian secret service meet on Whit Sunday (May 28) on a houseboat on Lake Maggiore to celebrate their birthday.

Thirteen Israeli passengers and eight Italians were on board alongside the captain and his partner (Russian), reports the Italian news agency Ansa. The birthday excursion on Lake Maggiore ended in tragedy. Hail, storm and rain took the company by surprise. A hurricane apparently caused the boat to capsize. In seconds, according to eyewitness reports, the ship sank. All passengers landed in the ice-cold water. Some swam to the shore about 150 meters away, others were pulled out of the lake by boats. Four people die in the boat accident.

This image, released by the Italian Fire Brigade, shows a helicopter searching for missing people after a tourist boat capsized in a storm on Italy's Lake Maggiore. © Dpa

Houseboat capsizes on Lake Maggiore: this is what is known about the fatalities

Among the four fatalities are three secret agents: a former high-ranking agent of the Israeli secret service Shimoni E. (54) as well as Claudio A. (62) and Tiziana B. (53), both of whom worked for the Italian secret service. "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," the Italian authorities said. The captain's partner – a 50-year-old Russian woman – also died in the accident.

Israeli secret agents quickly flown out

Survivors of the boat accident were already on Monday morning in a military plane on the way to Tel Aviv (Israel), reports the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The Italians were "hastily" evacuated from emergency rooms and hotels. It was a private jet for official and sensitive flights, according to the Ansa agency. The plane took off from Israel and landed in Milan to fly out the Israelis. "If the occasion was a solemn moment on the boat, it cannot be ruled out that there have been other types of meetings before," the news agency quotes a source as saying.

Secret agents drown at party in Lake Maggiore: Carabinieri block access to the marina in Lisanza near Sesto Calende. © IMAGO/Matteo Bazzi

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Lake Maggiore: Confidential documents sunk with houseboat?

The Busto Arsizio Public Prosecutor's Office is officially investigating the captain Claudio C. and owner of the houseboat. The 53-year-old Italian is accused of shipwreck and manslaughter. Why could the Goduria go down? The "weather" is currently considered one of the main causes of the fatal accident. If the captain had reacted immediately to the storm is one of the questions in the context of the investigation. But in addition to the safety equipment, it is about the technical data of the 16-meter boat, the maximum portability, or whether work has been done on the hull. According to media reports, there was officially only room for 15 people on the ship. At the time of the accident, the houseboat (built in 1982) would have been completely overloaded. Under normal circumstances, this alone could have had an impact on maneuverability - especially in stormy weather.

The "Shipwreck-007" could provide important clues to this. Other secrets could also be brought to light by the divers with the wreck. Were confidential documents exchanged at the birthday party, which are now grounded with the houseboat at a depth of 16 meters? The secret service tour group is said to have been on its way back from the Isola dei Pescatori before the storm capsized the houseboat. However, the salvage of the houseboat can still take days. The first attempts have so far been unsuccessful. (ml)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-06-01

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