Four dead as boat carrying British tourists capsizes on Italian lake when hit by whirlwind: Nineteen survivors swim to shore as tragedy strikes during birthday celebrations
- The 16-meter boat carried more than 20 tourists and crew members on board
Four people have died after a boat carrying British tourists capsized at Italy’s beauty spot of Lake Maggiore.
A sudden whirlwind overturned the boat in the northern region of Lombardy on Sunday, sending more than 20 tourists and crew members falling into the icy waters of the lake.
Italian firefighters said 19 people, who had celebrated birthdays on the boat, managed to swim to shore or were picked up by boats.
Four people, including a 53-year-old man, were found dead in the water by rescue crews, local television Tgcom24 reported.
A search and rescue mission was launched with divers, boats and a helicopter after the boat capsized at the lake, which lies between Italy and Switzerland.
An air ambulance circles Lake Maggiore after a tourist boat with more than 20 people on board capsized in a storm
Floating pieces of wood from the debris of the 52ft boat were seen in the water
The Foreign Office is in contact with local authorities in Italy to provide assistance to the British nationals involved.
Videos from firefighters showed chunks of wood floating in the lake as a helicopter circled above.
The whirlwind that hit the 16-meter boat was part of a storm system that hit Lombardy on Sunday, which also caused delays at Malpensa airport.
According to reports from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, two were taken to hospital in “moderately critical” condition, three in “not very critical condition.”
Another 15 were treated at the scene and did not require further medical attention, reports said.
An FCDO spokesperson said: “We are in contact with local authorities in Italy following a boating accident and stand ready to provide consular assistance to any British nationals involved.”