Boat Disaster Kills 4, Including Intel Agents, Captain's Wife

Vessel with more than 20 tourists capsizes in severe weather near Italy-Switzerland border
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2023 4:18 PM CDT
Boat Disaster Kills 4, Including Intel Agents, Captain's Wife
Lake Maggiore, as seen from the Italian village of Ronco.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

A boat ride on a lake that crosses the Italy-Switzerland border turned tragic Sunday when a severe storm hit, sending 20-plus passengers overboard, killing four, including the boat captain's wife, Anya Bozhkova. The BBC reports that two of the victims were in Italian intelligence—62-year-old Claudio Alonzi and Tiziana Barnobi, 53. Also killed was Shimoni Erez, age 50, reportedly a retired member of Israel's security force. Italian news outlet RAI reported that 20 passengers were rescued by other boats, with a few swimming to shore. Five were taken to the hospital. At least 10 ambulances and an air ambulance responded to the scene, in addition to local police, coast guard responders, and the Varese region's fire brigade.

The 52-foot touring boat Goduria was on a birthday cruise when a severe storm hit, capsizing the vessel and sending all on board into the water. Some reports have suggested that a sudden "tromba d'aria" flipped the boat—in Italian, "tromba d'aria" means "whirlwind" and is used to describe tornadoes and waterspouts. Per Reuters, this incident is just the most recent disaster in Italy caused by severe weather. Flooding in the Emilia-Romagna region killed 15 earlier in May, while 12 died at the end of 2022 due to landslides caused by heavy rain in the southern part of the country.
(More Italy stories.)

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