Lake Maggiore: tourist boat capsizes in storm in northern Italy, leaving four dead - what happened?

Italy's fire service posted an image of a helicopter taking part in the rescue (Image: Vigili del Fuoco / Map: Mark Hall)Italy's fire service posted an image of a helicopter taking part in the rescue (Image: Vigili del Fuoco / Map: Mark Hall)
Italy's fire service posted an image of a helicopter taking part in the rescue (Image: Vigili del Fuoco / Map: Mark Hall) | Image: Vigili del Fuoco / Map: Mark Hall
There were unconfirmed reports in Italian media that the boat's passengers were British, Italian and Israeli

A tourist boat has capsized in a storm on Italy’s Lago Maggiore on Sunday, with four people confirmed dead, Italian media reported.

Authorities were searching for several people at the popular lake in the northern Lombardy region, who were still missing after a sudden whirlwind overturned a boat carrying around 25 tourists and crew, the news site La Repubblica reported.

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Rescue workers recovered four bodies from the lake, after divers searched overnight. The final body was recovered early on Monday (29 May).

What happened?

(Image: Mark Hall / NationalWorld)(Image: Mark Hall / NationalWorld)
(Image: Mark Hall / NationalWorld) | Mark Hall / NationalWorld

A whirlwind overturned the boat carrying more than 20 tourists and crew on Lago Maggiore in Lombardy on Sunday evening. The boat overturned between the towns of Sesto Calende and Arona, Italian media say.

Firefighter video showed pieces of wood floating in the lake as a helicopter flew overhead. Italian firefighters said 19 people had been saved. Many reportedly managed to swim to shore.

Italy's fire service posted an image of a helicopter taking part in the rescue (Image: Vigili del Fuoco)Italy's fire service posted an image of a helicopter taking part in the rescue (Image: Vigili del Fuoco)
Italy's fire service posted an image of a helicopter taking part in the rescue (Image: Vigili del Fuoco) | Vigili del Fuoco

There were unconfirmed reports in Italian media that the boat's passengers were British, Italian and Israeli. All of the passengers and crew onboard reportedly went into the water - but many of them swam ashore or were rescued by other boats.

The whirlwind was part of a storm system that hit the northern region of Lombardy on Sunday evening, forcing delays at the Malpensa airport.

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