UPDATE: Two Italian intelligence officers among four dead from capsized boat in Italy’s Lake Maggiore

Image of Vigili del Fuoco emergency services at Lake Maggiore.

Image of Vigili del Fuoco emergency services at Lake Maggiore. Credit: Twitter@vigilidelfuoco

UPDATE: Tuesday, May 30 at 7:25 pm

It was revealed this Tuesday, May 30, that among the four dead from the capsized tourist boat on Lake Maggiore were two members of the Italian intelligence services.

According to CNN, citing local media, a 50-year-old Russian woman who was the wife of the boat’s captain also perished, along with a former Israeli intelligence officer.

The news outlet reported that the captain of the doomed boat had since been placed under investigation for culpable manslaughter by the Italian prosecutor.

They quoted their Sky Tg24 affiliate as reporting that with 24 passengers on board at the time of the incident, the vessel was operating over its official capacity.


UPDATE: Tuesday, May 30 at 0:33 am

As reported by the emergency services in Italy, the death toll has risen to four after a tourist boat capsized and sank on Lake Maggiore.

Vigili del Fuoco wrote on its Twitter profile: “#Varese, boat capsized in Lake Maggiore: recovered the lifeless body of the fourth person, the last of the four reported missing. Search operations by the #firefighters concluded, recovery of the boat begins [#29May 8:00]”.


Monday, May 29 at 0:33 am

At least one person has died and at least three more are still missing after a boat carrying British tourists capsized this evening, Sunday, May 28, in Italy.

According to the Italian news outlet La Repubblica, the incident occurred on Lake Maggiore. At the time of the incident, there were believed to have been 25 people on board the 52ft tourist boat, including two staff.

It was sailing close to the shore, between Sesto Calende, in the Varese area, and Arona in the Novara area near Lisanza.

The group of Brits were said to be on board celebrating a birthday when a sudden whirlwind hit the vessel and it overturned. It reportedly sank very quickly with 14 of its passengers managing to swim ashore where they were rescued by other boats.

Emergency services were immediately deployed to the location, including specialised divers from the Milan Fire Brigade and officers from the Varese carabinieri.

They worked throughout the night conducting a search operation alongside personnel from the harbourmaster’s office in the Marina di Lisanza area, on the south-eastern shore of Lake Maggiore.

Two of those rescued were subsequently transferred to hospitals in the towns of Gallarate and Varese. According to the Italian outlet, they were transported under ‘code yellow’, which means they were in a ‘moderately critical’ condition.

Three more were taken under ‘code green’ to a hospital in Angera in a less serious condition. Another 15 were treated by medics at the scene.

According to a reconstruction carried out by investigators, the boat probably capsized probably due to the fact that the sea was quite rough at the time.

A tweet from the Vigili del Fuoco read: “#Varese , overturned boat in Lake Maggiore, in the waters in front of Lisanza: 19 people safe. Search operations underway for some people reported as missing, #vigilidelfuoco at work with water rescuers, divers, helicopter [ #28maggio 20:45]”.

As reported by the news outlet, Attilio Fontana, the governor of Lombardy commented: “Unfortunately there is news of some missing people. A whirlwind caused a very serious accident”.

He continued: “The firefighters of the Milan diving unit are at work on the spot together with the coastguard, the air rescue and the ambulances of Areu. I am following with apprehension the updates of the rescue teams on the spot, which I thank”.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com