A tragedy unfolded on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy when a tourist boat, with over 20 passengers on board, including tourists, sank amid strong winds.
The distressing incident took place on Sunday evening, between the towns of Sesto Calende and Arona, claiming the lives of four individuals. Reports from Italian media suggest that the boat overturned due to the challenging weather conditions prevailing at the time. While the victims' nationalities remain unconfirmed, it is believed that they include Italian, Israeli, and Russian citizens.
Lombardy region's President Attilio Fontana described the incident as "very serious," attributing it to the adverse weather conditions. The boat, measuring 16 meters (52 feet) in length, had been chartered by tourists who sought to explore the scenic lake. President Fontana expressed his condolences for the lives lost through a post on his Facebook page.
Eyewitnesses recounted that the boat was carrying around 25 people who were celebrating a birthday when the weather suddenly turned unfavourable, culminating in what was described as a "small hurricane." In the face of these harsh conditions, the boat capsized and quickly sank beneath the surface of the lake.
Miraculously, five individuals were rescued from the treacherous waters and promptly transported to nearby hospitals for medical treatment.
Emergency services swiftly responded to the distress call, deploying rescue divers, helicopters, and ambulances to the scene. Videos captured by firefighters showcased scattered chairs and debris floating in the choppy waters, remnants of the ill-fated boat.
Lake Maggiore, a picturesque lake shared by Italy and Switzerland, attracts a significant number of tourists due to its natural beauty. However, the region had recently experienced unfavourable weather conditions, leading the Italian meteorological service to issue thunderstorm warnings.
Unfortunately, the severity of the storm proved fatal for the passengers aboard the ill-fated tourist boat, leaving behind a poignant reminder of the unpredictable nature of life and the need for vigilance in the face of adverse weather conditions.