De Laurentiis, who is also a prominent film producer, was relaxing on his 32-metre wooden yacht, the Angra, when it caught fire off the coast of Naples.
He and 11 other people on board were forced to jump into the sea to escape the flames, before using a small dingy to make it safely to shore, Ansa reported. Among those on board were De Laurentiis’ wife, Jacqueline, two of their grandchildren and four crew.
The alarm was raised at around 6.00pm, after which a tug boat was sent to put the flames out and recover the wreckage. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
The burning yacht was filmed by Fabio Cannavaro, an ex-footballer who started his career at Napoli. Cannavaro posted a video on Instagram, without knowing who was on board the boat.
Due to the incident De Laurentiis missed his club’s match against Lazio on Sunday evening, in which Napoli thrashed the visitors 5-0.