It should have been a very special birthday party, but it turned out to be a tragedy: on Whit Sunday, at least three people died in a shipwreck on Lake Maggiore in Italy, and one person is still missing. A violent storm overturned the boat and sank.
25 people, 23 tourists and two crew members, were on board the pleasure boat when the wind gusts got stronger. According to the president of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, the ship capsized due to a tornado.
Boat rented to celebrate
The group had rented the 16-meter tourist boat on Sunday to celebrate a birthday there. According to the daily newspaper Corriere della sera, the group consisted of Italians and foreigners, presumably from Great Britain and Israel, between the ages of 20 and 50.
The boat was close to shore
The accident happened shortly after 7 pm near Lisanza – about 150 meters from the coast. 21 prisoners were able to swim to shore themselves or be rescued. Divers from the Milan fire brigade recovered two bodies shortly after the accident, one person was found dead a little later and another person is still being sought.
The operation also continued at night
Despite the difficult weather conditions, search and rescue operations continued through the night. Late Sunday evening, a helicopter from the La Spezia Coast Guard, equipped with infrared detectors, also arrived. Several fire engines were on scene with divers and personnel, surveying the coast toward Lisanza.
Located in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and Switzerland, Lake Maggiore is Italy’s second largest lake and a popular holiday destination.
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