Watch CBS News

U.S. publishing boss Adrienne Vaughan killed in "terrible" speedboat crash in Italy

August 4, 2023 / 4:44 PM EDT / CBS/AP

U.S. publishing executive Adrienne Vaughan has died in a horrific boating accident off Italy's Amalfi Coast, her company said Friday.

Vaughan, 45, was president of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc., publisher of the Harry Potter series.

"Adrienne Vaughan was a leader of dazzling talent and infectious passion and had a deep commitment to authors and readers," said the board chair, Julia Reidhead, and president and CEO, Maria A. Pallante, in a joint statement. "Most of all she was an extraordinary human being, and those of us who had the opportunity to work with her will be forever fortunate."

The rented motorboat Vaughan and her family were on during a vacation to the popular tourist destination crashed into a sailboat Thursday, Italian state TV said, knocking her into the water, where according to witnesses she was struck by the motorboat's propeller.  

adrienne-vaughan-boat-accident.png

A video published by the New York Post showed guests on the sailboat during the collision, with one woman asking, "What happened?" 

"This boat, it collided with us," a man responds frantically, before running across the deck.

Moments later, another man looks over the edge: "Jesus Christ," he says. "She needs help," says another guest.

"The sailboat was going straight ahead and so was the [motor]boat," Pietro Iuzzolino, a barman who was making cocktails aboard the sailboat, told Italian newspaper Corriere del Mezzogiorno . "Then suddenly [the motorboat] veered 180 degrees: there was a collision and I heard a very loud bang.

"I saw the woman in the water being held up by her children and her husband," he said. "It was terrible."

Vaughan was pulled out of the water and brought to a dock but died by the time a helicopter ambulance arrived, state TV said.  

The Italian coast guard office in Amalfi is investigating the crash. A call to its office wasn't answered, nor was there a response to an emailed request to the Coast Guard for details.

The victim's husband was hospitalized with a shoulder injury while the couple's two young children were uninjured, according to the reports.

No one aboard the sailboat, which had more than 80 U.S. and German tourists and the crew members on board, was injured.

A blood test for the skipper of the motorboat tested positive for substance use, reported Italian news agency ANSA, which didn't indicate whether the result indicated alcohol or drug consumption. 

Sailboat barman Iuzzolino said the skipper was "vomiting," adding "we got the impression he was drunk." The skipper, an Italian about 30 years old, suffered a broken pelvis and ribs, ANSA reported.

There was no answer at the courthouse in the southern of port city of Salerno, where prosecutors are overseeing the investigation.

When the motorboat crashed, it had been headed to Positano, one of the most popular destinations along the Amalfi Coast, Italian media said.

  • Boating Accident
  • Boat Accident

More from CBS News

Harrowing scenes as freight train slams into passenger train in India

Vladimir Putin to visit Kim Jong Un in North Korea

U.S.-born Olympian dies at age 18 in diving accident

As Putin heads for North Korea, South fires warning shots at North Korean troops

  • BREAKING NEWS Tracking air quality across the New York City region Full Story
  • WEATHER ALERT Heat Advisory Full Story
  • ABC7 New York 24/7 Eyewitness News Stream Watch Now
  • THE LOOP | NYC Weather and Traffic Cams Watch Now

Authorities investigating Italy boat crash that killed New York-based publishing executive

WABC logo

POSITANO, Italy (WABC) -- It was a picturesque vacation on the Amalfi Coast, but now Italian authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the boat crash that killed Adrienne Vaughan.

The captain of a small motorboat is considered a suspect, facing a potential manslaughter charge for the collision with a large sailboat that wasn't moving at the time.

The aftermath of the horrific collision was captured on video Thursday afternoon... The music stopped on a sailboat filled with wedding guests. as they looked over to see the small motorboat that crashed into it. The operator and passengers were injured.

A medical helicopter arrived to transport Adrienne Vaughan, 45, but she died at the scene.

The New York-based president of Bloomsbury Publishing's American division was thrown overboard from the bow where she'd been sunbathing on the ride to Positano.

Her husband was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, and her two children... ages 14 and 11 survived. No one on the sailboat was hurt.

An Italian prosecutor says the 30-year old Italian operator of the rented motorboat is also being treated for injuries and is now under investigation on suspicion of manslaughter.

Italian media reports say he failed sobriety tests.

Bloomsbury publishing issued a statement reading in part,

"Adrienne was a natural business leader with a great future ahead of her. She was deeply loved by colleagues due to her combination of great personal warmth with a fierce determination to make the business succeed and grow. Her business instincts were outstanding and she loved authors, readers and her colleagues equally."

It is still unclear whether the boat operator's positive tests for substances were for drugs or alcohol.

Vaughn was a graduate of NYU and lived with her family in Bergen County.

ALSO READ | Twitch streamer Kai Cenat's giveaway in Union Square causes chaos

sailboat accident italy

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.

Related Topics

Top stories.

sailboat accident italy

Video shows suspect wanted in brutal beating of Queens deli worker

sailboat accident italy

5 masked men attack graduation guest at Hofstra: Academy Charter HS

sailboat accident italy

Live updates: Advisories issued as extreme heat takes hold in NYC, Tri-State

sailboat accident italy

AccuWeather Alert: Summer sizzle Thursday, Air Quality Alert continues

sailboat accident italy

Tracking air quality across the New York City region

State-licensed weed dispensary opens near Times Square

Suspect accused of raping 13-year-old girl in Queens arraigned

'Tiny miracle' baby heads home from hospital after 6 months in NICU

UK Edition Change

  • UK Politics
  • News Videos
  • Paris 2024 Olympics
  • Rugby Union
  • Sport Videos
  • John Rentoul
  • Mary Dejevsky
  • Andrew Grice
  • Sean O’Grady
  • Photography
  • Theatre & Dance
  • Culture Videos
  • Fitness & Wellbeing
  • Food & Drink
  • Health & Families
  • Royal Family
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Car Insurance Deals
  • Lifestyle Videos
  • UK Hotel Reviews
  • News & Advice
  • Simon Calder
  • Australia & New Zealand
  • South America
  • C. America & Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • Politics Explained
  • News Analysis
  • Today’s Edition
  • Home & Garden
  • Broadband deals
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Travel & Outdoors
  • Sports & Fitness
  • Sustainable Living
  • Climate Videos
  • Solar Panels
  • Behind The Headlines
  • On The Ground
  • Decomplicated
  • You Ask The Questions
  • Binge Watch
  • Travel Smart
  • Watch on your TV
  • Crosswords & Puzzles
  • Most Commented
  • Newsletters
  • Ask Me Anything
  • Virtual Events
  • Betting Sites
  • Online Casinos
  • Wine Offers

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in Please refresh your browser to be logged in

Family of US publishing exec killed in Italy boat incident urges full investigation, accountability

The family of a u.s. publishing executive killed in a boating incident in southern italy is urging italian authorities to fully investigate the death, article bookmarked.

Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile

Italy Boat Crash

For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails

Sign up to our free breaking news emails, thanks for signing up to the breaking news email.

The family of a U.S. publishing executive killed in a boating incident in southern Italy is urging Italian authorities to fully investigate the death and hold accountable anyone responsible.

“We are cooperating with the Italian authorities in their investigations, and will continue to do so until they conclude,” said the statement late Thursday to The Associated Press by Mike White , husband of Adrienne Vaughan, on behalf of their family.

Vaughan, the 45-year-old president of Bloomsbury Publishing’s U.S. branch, was killed Aug. 3 when the rented motorboat her family had hired slammed into a chartered sailboat off the Amalfi Coast .

The motorboat's skipper is under investigation for suspected manslaughter and causing a shipwreck, prosecutors have said. No charges have yet been announced.

Salerno Prosecutor Giuseppe Borrelli said Aug. 5 that Vaughan was sunning herself on the boat’s bow and bounced into the water at the moment of impact. Two doctors who were among the passengers on the sailboat dived into the sea to try to help and a nearby vessel brought her to shore, but Vaughan died before she could be taken to the hospital.

White and the motorboat’s skipper were injured; the family’s two children were unharmed.

In the statement issued by a spokesman, White said Vaughan's death had devastated the family. “Her absence from our lives and the terrible circumstances of her death are impossible to comprehend,” he said.

“We look to the Italian authorities to fully investigate the circumstances leading to Adrienne’s death, to ascertain where responsibility for this lies, and to ensure that any person who is found to bear responsibility is held accountable under the Italian criminal justice system,” he said, adding a request for privacy for the family.

Subscribe to Independent Premium to bookmark this article

Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.

New to The Independent?

Or if you would prefer:

Want an ad-free experience?

Hi {{indy.fullName}}

  • My Independent Premium
  • Account details
  • Help centre

US publishing executive killed in Italy boat crash; skipper under investigation

ROME -- The skipper of a rented motorboat involved in a crash off the Amalfi Coast that killed a U.S. tourist is being investigated for suspected manslaughter, a prosecutor in southern Italy said Saturday.

Salerno Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Borrelli told a news conference in that port city that the skipper, an Italian who hasn't publicly identified, is also being investigated on suspicion of causing a shipwreck. No charges have so far been filed against him, and the investigation is still ongoing.

Adrienne Vaughan, 45, was killed and her husband and the skipper of the rented motorboat were injured in the accident Thursday afternoon off a stretch of coastline popular with tourists. The motorboat slammed into a chartered sailboat, where some 70 guests aboard were enjoying a wedding reception.

Blood samples were taken from the skipper to determine alcohol and drug levels. But Borrelli indicated that for now the results were inconclusive.

"The results are being evaluated by a consultant of the prosecutor's office since the data per se aren't necessarily significant,'' Borrelli. He added that more evaluation was needed to determine "the incidence of the levels on the ability of the subject" to pilot the boat.

On Friday, Italian news reports said that the blood toxicology tests had found traces of cocaine.

Smugglers: Sisters allegedly smuggled cocaine into the US on MSC cruise

Investigators have questioned the skipper who remains hospitalized with what Italian media said are pelvis and rib fractures. The victim's husband, Mike White, is being treated at another hospital for a shoulder injury, according to reports. Authorities have spoken to him and plan to do so again, Borrelli said.

The couple's two young children were uninjured. They're now in the care of one of the their grandfathers who travelled to Italy to help while their father is convalescing, the prosecutor said.

Borrelli said when the crash happened, Vaughan was sunning herself on the bow of the boat and "bounced" into the water at the moment of impact. He declined to detail her injuries, saying the results of an autopsy are still pending.

Two doctors who were among the passengers on the sailboat dived into the sea to to help Vaughan, while a nearby vessel brought her to shore, Italian state radio said, quoting the sailboat's captain.

Borrelli said the woman died before a medical helicopter and local ambulance could take her to hospital.

The sailboat's captain has told Italian media that the motorboat was speeding when it smashed into the stationary sailboat's bow.

Former President Trump's weekend of unhinged rants, attacks on judge should earn him a gag order

The prosecutor said investigators also questioned the captain of the sailboat as well as some 70 passengers including American and other foreign tourists.

The motorboat had set sail from the town of Amalfi, Borrelli said. According to Italian media, the family was headed to Positano, another popular coastal town when the crash happened.

Vaughan was president of Bloomsbury Publishing's U.S. branch, which counts writers ranging from bestselling novelists Sarah J. Maas and Susanna Clarke to historian Mark Kurlansky among its roster of authors.

A Bloomsbury book, "Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist's Memoir of the Jim Crow South," by the late Winfred Rembert (as told to Erin I. Kelly), won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2022.

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Newsletters
  • Sweepstakes
  • Human Interest

Publishing Executive Dies in Boat Collision off Italy’s Coast Prompting Investigation

The skipper on the Bloomsbury executive's boat reportedly tested positive for substance use

sailboat accident italy

Adrienne Vaughan/Facebook

The CEO of the U.S. branch of publication company Bloomsbury has died in a boating accident off the coast of Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

Adrienne Vaughan, 45, who became the president of the publishing house in 2021 , had been at sea with her husband and two children on a 9-meter speedboat, when it collided with a larger 45-meter boat dubbed the Tortuga, according to The Guardian and CNN . 

The Guardian reported that the crash caused Vaughan to fall overboard where she was struck by the boat’s propeller. She was pulled out of the water onto a dock, but by the time emergency crews arrived, she was pronounced dead at the scene, per Associated Press . 

Bloomsbury’s board chair, Julia Reidhead and president and CEO, Maria A. Pallante confirmed Vaughan’s death to AP in a joint statement calling her “a leader of dazzling talent and infectious passion.”   

“[Vaughan] had a deep commitment to authors and readers,” they said. “Most of all she was an extraordinary human being, and those of us who had the opportunity to work with her will be forever fortunate.”

Although Vaughan's two children did not sustain any injuries, her husband was taken to the hospital with a shoulder injury.

Italian prosecutors in the city of Salerno, a port city located southeast of Naples, have launched an investigation into her death, The Guardian reported. 

Italian news agency ANSA reported that the blood test for the skipper on Vaughan’s boat — who also was injured — came back positive for substance abuse, per the outlet. 

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

The substance he had tested positive for was related to alcohol, Marinella Guglielmotti, the public prosecutor of Salerno, confirmed to CNN. She said initial toxicology reports also showed that the skipper had a higher alcohol blood limit than the legal amount. 

She added that the captain of the Tortuga tested negative for substances and was not a part of the investigation, adding that none of the over 80 passengers aboard the sailboat were injured.

Related Articles

Bloomsbury USA Boss Killed in Horrific Boating Accident

Adrienne Vaughan’s husband and their kids were also reportedly injured in the incident.

Dan Ladden-Hall

Dan Ladden-Hall

News Correspondent

sailboat accident italy

Bloomsbury USA

The head of publishing company Bloomsbury USA died in a tragic boating accident on the Amalfi Coast of Italy on Thursday, according to local media.

Adrienne Vaughan, 45, had rented a boat while on vacation with her family for an excursion around the scenic coastline, according to the Agenzia Giornalistica Italia ( AGI ) news service. During the trip, her pleasure cruiser collided with a tourist boat carrying a wedding banquet in the waters around the Furore fjord, leading to catastrophic consequences.

The impact of the crash threw Vaughan overboard between the vessels’ hulls, where she was then struck by the boats’ propellers, according to AGI. Her husband, Mike White, dislocated his shoulder and cut his arm, while their two kids—a 12-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy—were not physically harmed but were reportedly panicked when they saw their mother go into the water.

Vaughan was rushed to a pier in Amalfi, where emergency responders made desperate attempts to save her life. As the situation deteriorated, an air ambulance was summoned to transfer Vaughan to a hospital in Salerno. By the time the helicopter arrived at around 7 p.m., she was already dead.

American and German guests from the Tortuga—the boat holding the wedding party—were also taken to shore for questioning about the incident. It’s not yet clear how the vessels collided, but the commander of the Tortuga was submitted to toxicological testing, which came up negative.

The 30-year-old skipper of Vaughan’s boat also suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital. The unnamed man reportedly failed his own toxicological test, and a barman on the Tortuga gave an alarming account about what he witnessed in the aftermath of the collision.

“I saw the woman in the water supported by her children and husband,” Pietro Iuzzolino told the Corriere del Mezzogiorno newspaper, describing the victim’s injuries as serious. “It was terrible.” He also said the skipper of Vaughan’s boat “was vomiting” and that he “gave the impression he was drunk.”

Italian authorities are now investigating the incident.

According to local media, Vaughan and her family had visited Rome the day before the deadly boat crash and had smiled alongside her loved ones in photos shared on social media.

Bloomsbury’s website says Vaughan obtained an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and previously held roles at Disney Publishing Worldwide and Oxford University Press. Her LinkedIn page says she became president of Bloomsbury USA in September 2021. She had previously joined the company a year earlier as an executive director and COO, with company commending her “strong leadership during a challenging time” in a statement announcing her appointment as president.

The Daily Beast has contacted Bloomsbury for comment.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect the nature of Vaughn’s injuries.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast  here .

READ THIS LIST

Sun Sentinel

World News | U.S. publishing executive dies in a boat crash…

Share this:.

  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on X (Opens in new window)

Daily e-Edition

Evening e-Edition

  • Hurricane Tracks
  • Election 2024
  • Restaurants
  • Real Estate
  • Things To Do

World News | U.S. publishing executive dies in a boat crash off Italy’s Amalfi Coast

Colorful buildings nestled into cliffs that meet the sea in Positano, Italy

Adrienne Vaughan, 45, was president of Bloomsbury Publishing’s U.S. branch, which counts writers ranging from bestselling novelists Sarah J. Maas and Susanna Clarke to historian Mark Kurlansky among its roster of authors.

A Bloomsbury book, “Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South,” by the late Winfred Rembert (as told to Erin I. Kelly), won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2022.

Vaughan, who had a master’s degree in business from New York University, had worked at the Disney Book Group and Oxford University Press among other companies before joining Bloomsbury in 2020 as executive editor and COO. She was promoted to president a year later and also served on the board of the industry trade group the Association of American Publishers.

“Adrienne Vaughan was a leader of dazzling talent and infectious passion and had a deep commitment to authors and readers,” said the association’s board chair, Julia Reidhead, and its president and CEO, Maria A. Pallante, in a joint statement. “Most of all she was an extraordinary human being, and those of us who had the opportunity to work with her will be forever fortunate.”

The motorboat Vaughan and her family were on was rented through a skipper and had been headed to Positano when it crashed into a sailboat Thursday, Italian media said. The sailboat was carrying more than 80 U.S. and German tourists, including some celebrating a wedding.

Vaughan was pulled from the water and brought to a dock but died by the time a helicopter ambulance arrived, state TV said.

The Italian coast guard office in Amalfi was investigating the crash. The office did not respond to a call or an emailed request for more information.

Vaughan’s husband, Mike White, was hospitalized with a shoulder injury while the couple’s two young children were uninjured, according to the reports.

No one aboard the sailboat was injured.

A blood test for the skipper of the motorboat tested positive for substance use, according to Italian news agency ANSA, which didn’t indicate whether the result indicated alcohol or drug consumption. The skipper, an Italian about 30 years old, suffered a broken pelvis and ribs, ANSA said.

There was no answer at the courthouse in the southern of port city of Salerno, where prosecutors were overseeing the investigation into the accident.

More in World News

Surging violence in Haiti from clashes with armed gangs since March has displaced nearly 580,000 people, according to a new report from the U.N. migration agency, a sobering figure that underscores the magnitude of the Caribbean nation’s crisis.

World News | Gang violence in Haiti has displaced nearly 580,000 people, a new UN report says

There have already been open signs of discontent over the handling of the war by Netanyahu’s government, a coalition that includes right-wing hard-liners who oppose any kind of settlement with Hamas.

World News | Rifts seem to appear between Israel’s political and military leadership over conduct of the Gaza war

Attorneys for the husband of a Fort Lauderdale woman who disappeared in Spain are again asking a judge to reconsider the decision to keep him in prison in a motion filed Tuesday, arguing that officials arrested David Knezevich on kidnapping charges only to keep him detained while they investigate his wife's disappearance as a murder.

Crime and Public Safety | FBI using kidnap charge to detain husband while investigating South Florida woman’s disappearance as murder, defense argues

With their bulging red eyes and their alien-like mating sound, periodical cicadas can seem scary and weird enough. But some of them really are sex-crazed zombies on speed, hijacked by a super-sized fungus.

Environment | Collecting sex-crazed zombie cicadas on speed: Scientists track a bug-controlling super-sized fungus

Publishing executive from N.J. killed in boat crash in Italy

  • Updated: Aug. 07, 2023, 7:21 a.m. |
  • Published: Aug. 07, 2023, 7:10 a.m.

Publishing executive from N.J. killed in boating crash in Italy

Adrienne Vaughan, 45, of Glen Rock. Bloomsbury Publishing via AP

  • Anthony G. Attrino | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A publishing executive from Bergen County, who worked for the company that published the Harry Potter series, was killed last week in a boating accident off the coast of Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

Adrienne Vaughan, 45, was president of Bloomsbury Publishing’s U.S. branch. She owned a home in Glen Rock since 2013, according to public records.

Vaughan was the married mother of two children. Her children and husband, Michael White, were with her at the time of the crash, according to published reports.

The motorboat Vaughan and her family were on was rented through a skipper and had been headed to Positano when it crashed into a sailboat Thursday. The sailboat was carrying more than 80 U.S. and German tourists, including some celebrating a wedding, according to The Telegraph.

Vaughan was pulled from the water and brought to a dock but died by the time a helicopter ambulance arrived. Vaughan’s husband was hospitalized with a shoulder injury while the children, ages 11 and 14, were unhurt but treated for shock, according to the Associated Press.

No one aboard the sailboat was injured. Italian authorities are investigating the crash and reports said the skipper of the motorboat tested positive for substance abuse, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

The skipper, an Italian about 30 years old, suffered a broken pelvis and ribs, ANSA said.

Bloomsbury, which published the Harry Potter books in the United Kingdom, counts writers ranging from bestselling novelists Sarah J. Maas and Susanna Clarke to historian Mark Kurlansky among its roster of authors.

A Bloomsbury book, “Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South,” by the late Winfred Rembert (as told to Erin I. Kelly), won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2022.

“The loss of Adrienne is a terrible blow. Since she was appointed President of Bloomsbury USA three years ago, America has grown to become our biggest market,” Nigel Newton, chief executive of Bloomsbury, said in a statement. “Adrienne was a natural business leader with a great future ahead of her. She was deeply loved by colleagues due to her combination of great personal warmth with a fierce determination to make the business succeed and grow. Her business instincts were outstanding and she loved authors, readers and her colleagues equally.”

Vaughan, who had a master’s degree in business from New York University, had worked at the Disney Book Group and Oxford University Press among other companies before joining Bloomsbury in 2020 as executive editor and COO. She was promoted to president a year later and also served on the board of the industry trade group the Association of American Publishers.

“Adrienne Vaughan was a leader of dazzling talent and infectious passion and had a deep commitment to authors and readers,” the Association of American Publishers board chair, Julia Reidhead, and its president and CEO, Maria A. Pallante, said in a joint statement .

“Most of all she was an extraordinary human being, and those of us who had the opportunity to work with her will be forever fortunate,” the statement said.

The Associated Press contributed this report.

Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino . Find NJ.com on Facebook .

If you purchase a product or register for an account through a link on our site, we may receive compensation. By using this site, you consent to our User Agreement and agree that your clicks, interactions, and personal information may be collected, recorded, and/or stored by us and social media and other third-party partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Two Italian intelligence staffers among four dead in Italy lake storm

  • Medium Text

Sign up here.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Giuseppe Fonte and Cristina Carlevaro; Editing by Toby Chopra, Giles Elgood, Gavin Jones and Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. New Tab , opens new tab

People attend a rally over Ukraine conflict in Prague

World Chevron

Protest against deforestation in indigenous Papuans' land, outside the country's Supreme Court in Jakarta

Explainer: How Indonesia's deforestation persists despite moratorium

Indonesia's Awyu tribe of the Papua region has filed a case to the Supreme Court seeking to cancel permits for palm oil concessions on thousands of hectares of rainforest over which it has ancestral rights.

Protest against deforestation in indigenous Papuans' land, outside the country's Supreme Court in Jakarta

How Italy’s Far-Right Government is Pushing Back Against Migrants

Irregular migrant ship sinks off in Italy

A t least 64 people died after a wooden boat carrying over 150 refugees was wrecked off the coast of Italy over the weekend. The deaths of these migrants—hailing from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and elsewhere—comes as Italy continues to clamp down on efforts to rescue those who try to enter Europe by water.

Crossing “the Mediterranean Route” into Italy is the deadliest migrant crossing route in the world, but also increasingly the only option for migrants hoping to escape conflict in their homelands.

“If you are a migrant and want to reach Europe, you have limited [options,.” says Luigi Achilli, an Italy-based senior researcher at the Migration Policy Centre. “You either fly or cross the sea.”

Flying is by far the safest and quickest option, says Achilli, but it’s risky, as migrants need to forge expensive travel documents and risk being caught along the journey. On the other hand, smugglers will offer cheaper “packages” for those trying to cross by sea, guaranteeing multiple trips if the boat is intercepted along the route—a more feasible option for those desperate to escape.

The UNHCR estimates that more than 100,000 refugees arrived in Italy by boat in 2022, and that almost 1,400 migrants died while trying to cross the central Mediterranean in 2022.

Italy’s new Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has made clear her commitment to enacting laws that make it more difficult for migrants to enter Italy through the Mediterranean, and recently proposed a measure that places restrictions on NGO search-and-rescue boats. One expert told TIME that the move is not a novelty, but rather an extreme approach to the European Union’s policies on migration already in effect. Here’s what to know.

What has Italy’s government been doing to address deaths on the Mediterranean?

Meloni expressed “deep sorrow” over the tragedy, but Achilli says that the hardline stance she has taken against migration since coming to power in October will make safe passage for migrants even more unobtainable.

The law, passed by Italy’s Parliament last week, requires NGO search-and-rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean to sail to a designated port rather than the closest port, and prevents them from looking for other migrant boats in distress. Captains face fines of up to 50,000 euros if they fail to comply.

Aftermath Of Deadly Migrant Shipwreck Near Southern Italian Coast

“The new law against rescue NGOs that has been approved does not only create substantial obstacles for NGOs operating in the Mediterranean, it also increases the dangers faced by migrants who seek to reach Europe.” says Achilli.

The move was widely condemned by rescue organizations in a joint statement in January, who said it would cause more deaths in the Mediterranean. Meloni has accused rescue boats of aiding human traffickers, a claim the charities have denied. “They need a scapegoat.” says Achilli.

“Meloni’s government is not a radical change in terms of migration policies from previous governments in Italy, or the rest of Europe,” Achilli explains further. “Meloni’s government is pushing the dominant approach on migration to an extreme.”

How has the E.U. approached an influx of refugees in recent years?

During her campaign, Meloni proposed a deal with Libya in which the country would house refugees and prevent them from trying to make it to Europe. She compared the plan to a similar “off-shoring” agreement the E.U. signed with Turkey in 2016 that gave the country 6 billion euros in exchange for stopping migrants who tried to travel to Europe from their shores.

The war in Ukraine put the E.U.’s migration policy into the spotlight, when the bloc invoked a “temporary protection directive” that gave Ukrainian refugees entering Europe temporary status that granted them many of the same rights as E.U. citizens.

The decision was in sharp contrast to how the bloc has approached refugees fleeing Syria and Afghanistan in the past. Poland and Hungary, which pushed back against refugees from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, welcomed Ukrainians with open arms.

Just months prior, following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, E.U. interior ministers released a statement vowing to “prevent illegal migration from the region” rather than offering protections for Afghans fleeing the country.

The dangers of “off-shoring” refugees

Migrants trying to start anew don’t always find a welcome home in these so-called “third countries”. “These countries are not always safe countries,” says Achilli. A 2022 U.N. human rights report detailed widespread and systematic human rights violations and abuses against migrants in Libya. Syrian refugees in Turkey have often been treated as second-class, facing discrimination, poverty, and the risk of deportation.

“In the short term, this offshoring of border control does stem irregular migration, but not in the long term because migrants get right directed along different routes.” says Achilli.

Offshoring increases the number of smugglers, says Achilli, and also puts Europe at the mercy of countries like Libya and Turkey, who can use their willingness to take in migrants as a bargaining chip in other issues.

Achilli says that the answer to preventing migrant deaths along the central Mediterranean is simple, but not one the E.U. is keen on following anytime soon. For those fleeing immediate danger, smugglers and dangerous routes are the only option—but if the E.U. instead looked to expand its policies by granting humanitarian visas, expanding European countries’ resettlement programs, or developing alternative legal routes for refugees—such desperate moves wouldn’t be necessary, Achilli says.

“The catastrophe we’re witnessing in the Mediterranean Sea could be easily addressed if we improve and multiply the legal channels of mobility,” says Achilli. “But what we are doing is going in the other direction.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

  • Melinda French Gates Is Going It Alone
  • Lai Ching-te Is Standing His Ground
  • Do Less. It’s Good for You
  • There's Something Different About Will Smith
  • What Animal Studies Are Revealing About Their Minds—and Ours
  • What a Hospice Nurse Wants You to Know About Death
  • 15 LGBTQ+ Books to Read for Pride
  • Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time

Write to Simmone Shah at [email protected]

At least 11 dead and 64 missing in shipwrecks off Italy

Sixty-four people were missing in the Mediterranean Sea and several were rescued after their ship wrecked off Italy’s southern coast Monday, United Nations’ agencies said in a statement.

In a separate shipwreck, rescue workers evacuated dozens of suspected migrants but found 10 bodies trapped below the deck of a wooden boat off Italy’s tiny Lampedusa island, the German aid group Resqship wrote on Monday on the X social media platform.

The boat that wrecked about 200 kilometers (125 miles) off Calabria had set off from Turkey eight days earlier, but caught fire and overturned, the U.N. agencies said, citing survivors.

The search-and-rescue operation started following a mayday call by a French boat, the Italian coast guard said in a statement. The boat was sailing in a border area where Greece and Italy carry out search-and-rescue operations. The survivors and people still missing at sea came from Iran, Syria and Iraq, the U.N. agencies said.

Migrant boat capsizes off the coast of Calabria, Rocella Ionica, Italy - 17 Jun 2024

The Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center immediately diverted two merchant vessels sailing nearby to the scene of the rescue. Assets from the European border and coast guard agency Frontex also helped.

The survivors were brought to the Calabrian port of Roccella Jonica, where they were disembarked and entrusted to the care of medical personnel. One of the 11 rescued migrants died soon after, the coast guard said.

In the second shipwreck, the crew aboard Resqship’s boat, the Nadir, found 61 people on the wooden boat, which was full of water.

“Our crew was able to evacuate 51 people, two of whom were unconscious,” it added. “The 10 dead were in the flooded lower deck of the boat.”

sailboat accident italy

The Associated Press

  • Election 2024
  • Entertainment
  • Newsletters
  • Photography
  • Personal Finance
  • AP Investigations
  • AP Buyline Personal Finance
  • AP Buyline Shopping
  • Press Releases
  • Israel-Hamas War
  • Russia-Ukraine War
  • Global elections
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Election Results
  • Delegate Tracker
  • AP & Elections
  • Auto Racing
  • 2024 Paris Olympic Games
  • Movie reviews
  • Book reviews
  • Personal finance
  • Financial Markets
  • Business Highlights
  • Financial wellness
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Social Media

Italy’s coast guard searches for dozens of migrants missing after their ship capsized

Sixty-four people were missing at sea after a shipwreck off the Italian southern coast on Monday, United Nations’ agencies said in a statement. In the shipwreck, which took place about 200 kilometres (125 miles) off Calabria, a boat that had set off from Turkey eight days earlier caught fire and overturned, the U.N. agencies said, citing survivors. The Italian Red Cross said overall 12 people were rescued although one person died. (AP video shot by Valeria Ferraro)

The bodies of some of the 64 migrants missing in the Mediterranean Sea after their ship wrecked off Italy's southern coast are disembarked at the Italian southern port-city of Roccella Ionica, early Wednesday, June 19, 2024. U.N. agencies said the boat that wrecked off Calabria had set off from Turkey eight days earlier and caught fire and overturned. Eleven people were rescued Monday, but one died soon after they were brought to land. (AP Photo/Valeria Ferraro)

The bodies of some of the 64 migrants missing in the Mediterranean Sea after their ship wrecked off Italy’s southern coast are disembarked at the Italian southern port-city of Roccella Ionica, early Wednesday, June 19, 2024. U.N. agencies said the boat that wrecked off Calabria had set off from Turkey eight days earlier and caught fire and overturned. Eleven people were rescued Monday, but one died soon after they were brought to land. (AP Photo/Valeria Ferraro)

  • Copy Link copied

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s coast guard was searching by sea and from the air on Thursday for dozens of people missing when a boat capsized and partially sank earlier this week in the perilous central Mediterranean, officials said.

The partially submerged boat was still in view, but the commander of the search operation said that no bodies were in sight. The boat capsized about 195 kilometers (120 miles) off the Calabrian coast.

A fishing boat was the first to respond on Monday after the boat capsized and rescued 12 people, one of whom later died. Italy’s coast guard has recovered six bodies, and survivors say more than 60 people are missing. They include more than 20 children.

Survivors reported that the boat motor had caught fire, causing it to capsize off the Italian coast about eight days after departing from Turkey with about 75 people from Iran, Syria and Iraq on board, according to the U.N. refugee agency and other U.N. organizations.

A spokeswoman for Doctors Without Borders said that the survivors have suffered both psychological and physical trauma, and “remained very confused.”

“They have been hospitalized ... and don’t yet know who in their families is alive and who died at sea,’’ said Cecilia Momi, in charge of the group’s humanitarian affairs. “Entire families are destroyed. Some lost a wife, some lost a child, a husband, a friend, a nephew.”

FILE - This undated photo provided by Chris Whiteid show Riley Strain on Jan. 2, 2024. A newly released autopsy report says the University of Missouri student whose body was recovered from a river after going missing in Tennessee’s capital for nearly two weeks died from accidental drowning and intoxication. News outlets report that Davidson County Medical Examiner’s office released Strain’s autopsy report Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Chris Whiteid via AP, file)

Separately on Monday, the charity rescue ship Nadir rescued 51 people from Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh and transported them to Lampedusa. Another 10 people on the same smugglers’ boat were found dead on the lower deck.

The deaths bring to more than 800 people who have died or went missing and are presumed dead crossing the central Mediterranean so far this year, an average of five dead a day, the U.N. agencies said.

The International Red Cross said that the tragedies are “another testament to Europe’s failing approach to migration and asylum , which prioritizes walls and deterrence over humane welcome.”

Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

This story has been corrected to show that 12 survivors were rescued, not 11. One of them later died.

sailboat accident italy

'No one came to help us': Only eleven migrants survived boat capsizing in one of Ionian Sea's worst disasters

The boats used by migrants are often unseaworthy and the smugglers they pay are untrustworthy - and so it has proven off the coast of Italy's Calabria region. Of 76 people aboard a sailboat, only 11 have survived.

sailboat accident italy

International correspondent @sparkomat

Wednesday 19 June 2024 02:38, UK

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Italy shipwreck

The waters of the Ionian Sea seem tranquil enough in the middle of June, but they also form part of the most dangerous migration route in the world.

The shoreline of southern Italy , with its position in the central Mediterranean, is the primary objective of many who put to sea.

Yet the boats used by migrants are often unseaworthy and the smugglers they pay are untrustworthy - and so it has proven off the coast of Italy's Calabria region.

Some 120 miles from the port of Roccella Ionica, the Italian coast guard caught site of simple sailboat, a recreational vessel with a single mast barely peaking above the water.

A map of Italy showing the Calabria region and the islands of Sicily, Malta and Lampedusa

Leaving Turkey eight days earlier, it was packed with 76 people, including more than 70 migrants from Iraq, Iran and Syria.

But something had gone terribly wrong,

Red Cross officials in southern Italy said only 11 people survived, among them a pregnant woman and two children. It was clear these individuals had suffered greatly at sea.

More on Italy

sailboat accident italy

Pope Francis warns AI poses risk to 'human dignity itself' as he becomes first pontiff to address G7

sailboat accident italy

Brawl in Italian parliament leaves MP injured after Five Star and League confrontation

A yacht capsized off Calabria. Pic: Italian coast guard

17 people dead and dozens missing after two shipwrecks off coast of Italy

Related Topics:

  • Migrant Crisis

"Well, 11 migrants who arrived here have multiple fractures, severe dehydration, severe bruises from what they say," said Concetta Gioffrè of the regional Italian Red Cross.

"They were in shock, with clear signs of burns. I have no words for those who didn't reach the port."

Ro'ya Muheidini, a 19-year-old Iraqi Kurd

Sky News spoke to one survivor, now being cared for in a local hospital.

Ro'ya Muheidini, a 19-year-old Iraqi Kurd, said that different smugglers had been involved in the voyage - but all the passengers had been duped.

"The smugglers told us not to bring any food because [the vessel] had everything. After that, we ran out and shared what we had. Nothing was left on the boat, no water, no food, nothing."

Migrant shipwreck survivors taken to Italian port for medical treatment

Ms Muheidini told us that the captain had tried to open a box or tube with provisions but there was an explosion which tore a hole in the hull.

The boat capsized, and all 76 people - including two dozen children - were thrown into the water.

"We stayed on the water for four days and no one came to help us," said the 19-year-old.

"Two or three boats passed by and they got very close. We shouted a lot for help, but they ignored us and passed by.

"If it was not for a French boat, none of us would be here."

Read more on Sky News: French police 'powerless' to stop beach landings People smuggler 'at peace' with dying

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

There seems to be little to no prospect that any of those still unaccounted for will be found alive, making this one of the worst disasters in the Ionian Sea in recorded memory.

But that is unlikely to shift public opinion in the European Union. In fact, it may go unnoticed. The politics of immigration and migration have changed in Europe.

It now requires a tougher, harsher approach, but the consequences of that will prove deadly.

Be the first to get Breaking News

Install the Sky News app for free

sailboat accident italy

Related Topics

2 girls killed in jet ski, boat crash in Lake County: 'A tragic, unfortunate accident'

Two girls were killed after crashing a jet ski into a boat on Lake Marie in Antioch on Tuesday.

ANTIOCH, Ill. - Two girls were killed after crashing a jet ski into a boat on Lake Marie in Antioch on Tuesday.

The girls, 16 and 13, were riding the jet ski at a high rate of speed around 5:15 p.m. when they crashed into a Sea Ray Cabin Cruiser near the Gass Lake Channel, according to Lake County officials.  

Deputy Chief Chris Covelli, with the Lake County Sheriff's Office, said the 55-year-old boat operator tried to maneuver out of the way but was unable to avoid a collision. 

Both girls, who were wearing life jackets, were knocked unconscious in the crash and thrown into the water.

"It doesn't appear they avoided or tried to make any sharp maneuvers. It appears they went straight into the cabin cruiser. Just seems to be a tragic, unfortunate accident," Covelli said. "The driver of the cabin cruiser certainly shaken up by the situation, as were the three passengers on board. They did immediately jump into action and do everything they could to save these girls' lives. Unfortunately, it didn't work out." 

The boat operator and three passengers on the Sea Ray pulled the girls from the water, called 911 and rendered aid, officials said. One of the girls was transported to the shore by the boat operator and the other was taken to land by the operator of another boat.

The girls were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center where they were pronounced dead. The 16-year-old girl was from Lake Forest, California and the 13-year-old was from Long Grove. Their identities have not yet been released.

There were no other injuries reported.

A witness to the collision noted that the lake was not crowded at the time of the crash.

"Today was like, nobody out there. It was like wide open. I was out on my waverunner earlier in the afternoon. It was choppy, but, you know, you could see boats coming at you. So I don’t know how these guys hit a boat with so much open, open space," said Scott Swearingen.

Autopsies for both girls are scheduled for Thursday morning.

The video below is from our previous report on June 18th.

IMAGES

  1. Children among dozens killed in sailboat wreck off Italy’s coast

    sailboat accident italy

  2. Italian, Israeli secret agents among 4 dead in Italy boating accident

    sailboat accident italy

  3. Liner Captain Is Questioned in Capsizing Off Italy Coast

    sailboat accident italy

  4. Three killed in speed boat record attempt in Italy

    sailboat accident italy

  5. 'They're all dead': Horror stories emerge from migrant smuggling boat crash

    sailboat accident italy

  6. Three People Confirmed Dead in Italy Cruise-Ship Tragedy: Coast Guard

    sailboat accident italy

VIDEO

  1. Leisure23SL in Italy

  2. Sailboat accident Sint Maarten

  3. Sail Yacht crash into reef in Hawaii

  4. He hit that boat! #DCS World Never seen that

  5. Dramatic moments show superyacht sinking off Italian coast

  6. Italy Ship Accident 2023

COMMENTS

  1. Skipper of boat in Italy crash that killed U.S. publishing executive

    Two doctors who were among the passengers on the sailboat dived into the sea to help Vaughan, while a nearby vessel took her to shore, Italian state radio said, quoting the sailboat's captain.

  2. Skipper of boat in crash that killed US tourist off Italy faces

    By FRANCES D'EMILIO. Updated 5:41 PM PDT, August 5, 2023. ROME (AP) — The skipper of a rented motorboat involved in a crash off the Amalfi Coast that killed a U.S. tourist is being investigated for suspected manslaughter, a prosecutor in southern Italy said Saturday. Salerno Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Borrelli told a news conference in that ...

  3. U.S. publishing executive dies in a boat crash off Italy's Amalfi Coast

    Updated 1:40 PM PDT, August 4, 2023. ROME (AP) — A U.S. publishing executive died in a boating accident off Italy's Amalfi Coast, her company said Friday. Adrienne Vaughan, 45, was president of Bloomsbury Publishing's U.S. branch, which counts writers ranging from bestselling novelists Sarah J. Maas and Susanna Clarke to historian Mark ...

  4. Bloomsbury US CEO killed in boating accident on Italy's Amalfi Coast

    A tourist who was CEO of the American arm of the British publisher that launched Harry Potter in the UK was killed off Italy's Amalfi Coast after the "gommone" or motorboat she was riding on ...

  5. U.S. publishing boss Adrienne Vaughan killed in "terrible" speedboat

    August 4, 2023 / 4:44 PM EDT / CBS/AP. U.S. publishing executive Adrienne Vaughan has died in a horrific boating accident off Italy's Amalfi Coast, her company said Friday. Vaughan, 45, was ...

  6. Italy boat crash that killed New York-based publishing executive

    POSITANO, Italy (WABC) -- It was a picturesque vacation on the Amalfi Coast, but now Italian authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the boat crash that killed Adrienne Vaughan.

  7. Family of US publishing exec killed in Italy boat collision urges full

    In this undated photo provided by Bloomsbury Publishing on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, Adrienne Vaughan poses for a portrait. The family of Vaughan, a U.S. publishing executive killed in a boating incident in southern Italy is urging Italian authorities to fully investigate the death and hold accountable anyone responsible.

  8. Family of US publishing exec killed in Italy boat incident urges full

    The family of a U.S. publishing executive killed in a boating incident in southern Italy is urging Italian authorities to fully investigate the death Via AP news wire Friday 11 August 2023 11:35 BST

  9. US publishing executive killed in Italian boating accident

    By Reuters. August 5, 20236:44 AM PDTUpdated 10 months ago. ROME, Aug 5 (Reuters) - An American publishing executive died after being knocked overboard in a boating accident off the Amalfi Coast ...

  10. US publishing executive Adrienne Vaughan killed in Italy boat crash

    ROME -- The skipper of a rented motorboat involved in a crash off the Amalfi Coast that killed a U.S. tourist is being investigated for suspected manslaughter, a prosecutor in southern Italy said ...

  11. Publishing Executive Dies in Boat Collision off Italy's Coast

    Published on August 5, 2023 08:37PM EDT. Photo: Adrienne Vaughan/Facebook. The CEO of the U.S. branch of publication company Bloomsbury has died in a boating accident off the coast of Italy's ...

  12. Bloomsbury USA Boss Killed in Horrific Boating Accident

    The head of publishing company Bloomsbury USA died in a tragic boating accident on the Amalfi Coast of Italy on Thursday, according to local media. Adrienne Vaughan, 45, had rented a boat while on ...

  13. U.S. publishing executive dies in a boat crash off Italy's Amalfi Coast

    A U.S. publishing executive has died in a boating accident off Italy's Amalfi Coast. Bloomsbury Publishing Inc. identified her as 45-year-old Adrienne Vaughan, who was president of the compan…

  14. Publishing executive from N.J. killed in boat crash in Italy

    A publishing executive from Bergen County, who worked for the company that published the Harry Potter series, was killed last week in a boating accident off the coast of Italy's Amalfi Coast ...

  15. Italian secret service agents among victims of Lake Maggiore boat accident

    Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images. CNN —. Two Italian secret service agents and a retired member of Israel's security forces were among the four victims from Sunday's fatal boat accident on Lake ...

  16. All passengers on boat that sank on Italy lake had worked for ...

    03:02. See More Videos. CNN —. All 21 passengers on a charter boat that sank in Italy's Lake Maggiore on Sunday, killing four people, were currently or formerly tied to Israeli and Italian ...

  17. Four dead after tourist boat capsizes in Italy's Lake Maggiore

    Vigili Del Fuoco/AP. CNN —. The bodies of four people have been recovered from Lake Maggiore in northern Italy after a tourist boat capsized on Sunday evening, Italy's fire service has said ...

  18. Dozens of migrants killed in shipwreck off Italy

    At least 59 migrants have died after a boat crashed off the coast of Italy with up to 200 people on board. Many of the dead were children. The crash has thru...

  19. Two Italian intelligence staffers among four dead in Italy lake storm

    Four people, including two Italians who worked for the intelligence service, died on Sunday after a tourist boat capsized when a storm hit Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, local officials said.

  20. Italy's Deadly Migrant Shipwreck Highlights Far-Right Policy

    February 28, 2023 1:40 PM EST. A t least 64 people died after a wooden boat carrying over 150 refugees was wrecked off the coast of Italy over the weekend. The deaths of these migrants—hailing ...

  21. Shipwrecks off Italian coast leave at least 11 dead and ...

    Two devastating shipwrecks off Italy's southern coast have resulted in the deaths of at least 11 migrants and left 64 people missing, according to United Nations agencies. In the first tragedy, a ...

  22. Pakistanis among 11 drowned in boat accident off Italy coast

    Two separate boat capsizing incidents near the coast of Italy have claimed 11 lives, including migrants from Pakistan and other countries.As per reports, 51 people were rescued from the boat...

  23. Italy migrant shipwrecks leave at least 11 dead, dozens missing

    The boat that wrecked about 200 kilometers (125 miles) off Calabria had set off from Turkey eight days earlier, but caught fire and overturned, the U.N. agencies said, citing survivors.. The ...

  24. Italy's coast guard searches for dozens of migrants missing after their

    The boat capsized about 195 kilometers (120 miles) off the Calabrian coast. A fishing boat was the first to respond on Monday after the boat capsized and rescued 12 people, one of whom later died. Italy's coast guard has recovered six bodies, and survivors say more than 60 people are missing. They include more than 20 children.

  25. 'No one came to help us': Only eleven migrants survived boat capsizing

    The boats used by migrants are often unseaworthy and the smugglers they pay are untrustworthy - and so it has proven off the coast of Italy's Calabria region. Of 76 people aboard a sailboat, only ...

  26. 2 girls killed in crash between jet ski, boat in Lake County

    ANTIOCH, Ill. - Two girls were killed after crashing a jet ski into a boat on Lake Marie in Antioch on Tuesday. The girls, 16 and 13, were riding the jet ski at a high rate of speed around 5:15 p ...