Three injured as Venice water taxi slices boat in two

Three young people were injured, two seriously, on Tuesday night after a water taxi in Venice cut through the boat they were on.

Three injured as Venice water taxi slices boat in two
Photo: LovinKat/Flickr

The boat was sliced in two by the oncoming water taxi between the islands of San Servolo and Certosa, La Repubblica reported.

The boat passengers, all from Venice, were thrown into the water.

A 24-year-old man is intensive care at Mestre hospital after suffering chest trauma, while a 21-year-old man, who suffered a broken leg and a head injury, is at the same hospital.

The third person – a 19-year-old woman – was treated in hospital before being discharged. The water taxi’s driver was slightly injured.

According to an initial investigation, the boat was travelling without lights on and did not give the right of way to the water taxi, La Repubblica said.

The incident comes three years to the day a 50-year-old German tourist was crushed to death by a reversing waterbus, which bumped into the gondola he was riding with his family near the city's famous Rialto Bridge.

His wife, three children and the gondolier were also thrown into the water, with his three-year-old daughter suffering head injuries.

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Italy to pay €57m compensation over Venice cruise ship ban

The Italian government announced on Friday it would pay 57.5 million euros in compensation to cruise companies affected by the decision to ban large ships from Venice's fragile lagoon.

A cruise ship in St Mark's Basin, Venice.
The decision to limit cruise ship access to the Venice lagoon has come at a cost. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The new rules, which took effect in August, followed years of warnings that the giant floating hotels risked causing irreparable damage to the lagoon city, a UNESCO world heritage site.

READ ALSO: Venice bans large cruise ships from centre after Unesco threat of ‘endangered’ status

Some 30 million euros has been allocated for 2021 for shipping companies who incurred costs in “rescheduling routes and refunding passengers who cancelled trips”, the infrastructure ministry said in a statement.

A further 27.5 million euros – five million this year and the rest in 2022 – was allocated for the terminal operator and related companies, it said.

The decision to ban large cruise ships from the centre of Venice in July came just days before a meeting of the UN’s cultural organisation Unesco, which had proposed adding Venice to a list of endangered heritage sites over inaction on cruise ships.

READ ALSO: Is Venice really banning cruise ships from its lagoon?

Under the government’s plan, cruise ships will not be banned from Venice altogether but the biggest vessels will no longer be able to pass through St Mark’s Basin, St Mark’s Canal or the Giudecca Canal. Instead, they’ll be diverted to the industrial port at Marghera.

But critics of the plan point out that Marghera – which is on the mainland, as opposed to the passenger terminal located in the islands – is still within the Venice lagoon.

Some aspects of the plan remain unclear, as infrastructure at Marghera is still being built. Meanwhile, smaller cruise liners are still allowed through St Mark’s and the Giudecca canals.

Cruise ships provide a huge economic boost to Venice, but activists and residents say the ships contribute to problems caused by ‘overtourism’ and cause large waves that undermine the city’s foundations and harm the fragile ecosystem of its lagoon.