from Twitter / emergenzavvf
Italian emergency services said three bodies were found in the submerged cabin of the boat, which crashed near the rocks of Punta Sabbioni, off the coast of Venice.
Three people were killed in an attempt to break a record for high-speed motorboats in Italy.
The accident, in which the boat crashed into an artificial dam, happened near the finish line at Lido di Venezia on Tuesday evening.
Among the dead was Fabio Buzzi, a 76-year-old Italian businessman and world champion in motorboats. He was leading the team’s attempt to set a record time in the adrenaline-filled trip from Monaco to Venice.
Italian Luca Nicolini and Dutch driver Eric Hoorn also died in the crash, according to Rai, the Italian national broadcaster. A fourth man, Italian Mario Invernizzi, survived with injuries.
Buzzi was trying to break his Monte Carlo record at Lido di Venezia. On Tuesday, he and his crew left Monte Carlo at 3 a.m. local time and were due to arrive at the Lido at 9 p.m. Buzzi had traveled the same route in the past but had always arrived during daylight.
The ship was almost at the finish line when it struck the spire at Punta Sabbioni, built to protect the city’s “Mose” flood barrier, AFP news agency reported.
The Mose System was designed to protect the slowly sinking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Venice.
Rescue workers, including firefighters and the coast guard, were on hand for the rescue operation.
An Italian firefighter spokesperson said the three bodies were found in the cabin underwater. Their exact cause of death is unclear.
According to the spokesperson, Invernizzi survived because he was “thrown from the boat by the impact”.
“We are heartbroken. Accidents like this have a very strong impact on all of us, ”said Gianni Darai, spokesperson for Venice Assonautica, the nautical association that organized the event.
The ship was 39 feet long and was fitted with a Fiat engine. It was probably traveling at 79 knots per hour – just below its maximum of 80 knots per hour – Darai told CNN.
The distance between Monte Carlo and Lido di Venezia by waterway is about 1,380 miles, reports the Repubblica newspaper.
Buzzi was trying to break his 2016 record of 22 hours and five minutes. According to Darai, the team had been successful in their efforts, making the trip in less than 19 hours.
Darai described speedboat racing as a “dangerous sport” and told CNN that others have died this way around the world.
The cause of the accident remains uncertain.