They were celebrating a friend’s birthday aboard a house boat on Lake Maggiore when a gust of wind suddenly overwhelmed them. Within a few minutes the boat capsized, sinking up to 15 meters deep and causing most of the passengers to end up in the water. 20 were saved, four did not make it. Between Sunday evening and Monday morning the bodies of two Italian 007s were recovered: Claudio Alonzi, 62 years old from Alatri (Frosinone), married with two children, and Tiziana Barnobi, 53 years old, born in Trieste, residing in Rome, married and with a minor child. Israeli Erez Shimoni, 50, retired from the security forces, and Anya Bozhkova, a Russian citizen and wife of the commander, also lost their lives. There are still many aspects of the accident to be clarified, starting with the reason why the tourist boat had not yet returned, despite the strong storm that had already hit the area for a couple of hours. The public prosecutor of Busto Arsizio has opened a file, currently against unknown persons, for culpable shipwreck.
Boat capsizes in Lake Maggiore due to a whirlwind: four dead, bodies recovered. There were 23 tourists on board
The group had left from the Piccaluga construction site in Sesto Calende, in the Varese area and at the time of the tragedy was heading towards Arona (Novara). For the owner of the boat Carlo Carminati it must have been a trip like many others, the ones he and his wife took every day with the house boat they had chosen as their home, where they lived. When they found themselves about 150 meters from the banks of Lisanza, however, the water bomb and the strong wind completely overwhelmed them. The 16-metre-long tourist boat designed to accommodate 15 people could not withstand the violence of the whirlwind and capsized within seconds. Many jumped into the lake, others were thrown from the boat. At least four managed to swim ashore and raise the alarm. At the same time, some private boats that noticed what was happening set sail to provide assistance.
Investigations are reconstructing the dynamics of the tragedy, but it seems that those who lost their lives were inside the boat, where they had sought refuge from bad weather. And once there he couldn’t get out. Among these, the captain’s wife who would have gone below deck shortly before with her dog. The firefighters of Milan and Turin, with the support of the aquatic rescue specialists of Varese, are at work to recover the boat called “Goduria”. Carminati, meanwhile, has already been heard by the investigators and is in shock. Among the aspects that the investigations will have to clarify, there are compliance with the safety standards on board and the number of people present, which exceeds the transport capacity of the boats. But also why the boat, given the worsening weather, didn’t speed up the return maneuvers.
A weather alert had been issued that day: “yellow”, explains the mayor of Sesto Calende, Giovanni Buzzi, underlining that it had been sent around 12.40 “to the protocol of the Municipality for 4 pm”. But at that time of Sunday morning there was no one in the offices to receive her. “Of course – explains the mayor -, it was a moderate yellow storm alert, which in itself does not require interventions, but only a higher level of attention than the green one”.
Other Israeli state officials were also present on board the boat. Maximum confidentiality on their names, they have already returned. The Delegated Authority for the security of the Republic, Alfredo Mantovano, and the leaders of the sector have expressed their closeness and pain for the tragic event to the families of the victims.
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