Drowning in Venice

When it comes to Venice’s drowning cases, numerous people have been saved by the ever amazing courage of the citizens of Venice. The acts of incredible heroism come into play in moments of turmoil such as drowning. 

venice waters

In 2013, there was a fatal accident in Venice. The huge traffic of an array of boats, gondolas, taxis, and water buses are said to have been the main cause of this particular incident. Joachim Reinhardt Vogel, a German as well, was not lucky in this incident. Joachim Vogel was a professor at the University of Munchen and he was having an enjoyable gondola ride in the company of his family in August 2013. Unfortunately, an oncoming vaporetto hit Joachim’s rowboat in an attempt to avoid colliding head-on with another oncoming water bus. Joachim heroically saved the life of his daughter but he never managed to save himself.

In 2015 May, a German photographer aged seventy-five years old fell into Canal Grande waters. He was in front of Santa Maria del Giglio and he was trying to get a near-perfect shot for the newlyweds on that day. The photographer hit the wooden parapet he was leaning against. In spite of the speedy reaction of an experienced gondolier and a taxi driver, Fasan Kelvin, died later that day. His death was attributed to the multiple fractures he experienced on his skull which caused a lot of internal bleeding.

According to Italian media, more than 180,000 migrants moved to Italy through boats in 2016. Most of these migrants came from Sub-Saharan Africa and this represented an 18 percent increase in comparison with the previous year (2015). In January 2017, there was an African man who drowned in the Grand Canal as people watched from the neighboring boats. Several life rings were thrown to him in an attempt to save his life. However, he was not lucky to catch any of them and this raised speculation that he could have committed suicide. No one jumped into the waters to assist Pateh Sabally. According to the Italian media, Pateh had been served with the requisite residency papers to stay in Italy. He was not a visitor.

Notwithstanding the many deaths that have occurred as a result of drowning, some commendable efforts have been shown in an attempt to reduce fatalities in water accidents.

In 2015 December, two brothers heroically saved the life of a drunkard who was to die on a certain winter night. Emanuele “Lele” Vianello is the proprietor of El Borrachero, a bar in Venice. When resting in the bar one winter evening together with Matteo, his brother, they heard a loud splash in Rio de San Trovaso. They drove the freezing canal in a bold show of selflessness and saved his life.

In 2016 March, Silvano Secchi, a baker in Venice aged 35 years old, was delivering pastries and bread close to Arsenale. On finishing a delivery, he saw a lady’s body on the water with the head in the water. Silvano Secchi dived into the water heroically and made it save the lady from drowning in the winter morning.

In April 2015, a brave old 75 years old managed to save a little one from death in the water. Lucio Fabris, the old man, managed to save a 5-year old boy. He dressed him up and took him to the celebrations of his nephew.

Drowning and dying in the water is not an impossible thing. It has happened to many in the past and may affect many in the future. People who are close to anyone under the danger of downing must act fast to save a life.              

Drowning in any place is explained as the process of having an impairment of the respiratory system as a result of being immersed or submerged in a liquid. Drowning could result in morbidity, no morbidity, or death. Some of the risk factors attributed to drowning include inadequate supervision of kids as they play near water bodies, disasters related to water transport, excess water in the sea, and age among other factors. The global burden of drowning has continued to rise over the years, and it the year 2015, there over seventy thousand people who lost their lives to drowning in the famous Western Pacific Region. 


This represented more than twenty-two percent of the population that loses life due to drowning related issues. Drowning kills many children under fifteen years as compared to the combination of measles, malaria, dengue fever, meningitis, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Moreover, the cases where people do not lose their lives and are saved by divers or any other means, numerous hospitalizations result in an ineffective health system. In spite of the ease to prevent and reduce the magnitude of drowning, the proactive action of protecting people against drowning is little, especially in the middle-aged countries. 

Venice is known to be a popular independent state whose existence dates back to the early VII century AD. No one can quantify the number of people who have lost their lives to drowning since the city’s inception ages ago. In the years when safety in the waters was not a major priority for many, and especially in Venice, people must have died in large numbers. Be that as it may, people still lose their lives to drowning in Venice to date. Any place that has adequate water to pose a threat to people’s lives, it is critical to be wary and exercise caution.


Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Italy Lover. He travel to Europe a few times and loved Italy for its unique language and culture. He loved the idea of Italian food focusing on original taste of the ingredient.
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