A group of tourists capsized a gondola in Venice after they refused to listen to their gondolier’s requests to sit down and stop taking selfies.
According to The Guardian, the gondolier had told the tourists to sit down before he attempted to steer the boat under a bridge near St Mark’s Square.
This was a tricky maneuver that required the maximum balance of weight onboard to work.
However, the group of holidaymakers reportedly ignored his orders to sit down and instead continued to stand up and take photos, consequently tipping the boat over.
After causing the boat to capsize, the group of tourists, who reportedly came from China, fell into the murky, cold waters of the Venice Canal. The gondolier also fell into the canal with them.
In widely-circulated footage, the tourists can be seen weeping as they cling on to the gondolier after toppling into the canal.
According to a post on the Instagram page @venezia_non_e_disneyland (which translates to “Venice is Not Disneyland) — which documents the misadventures of tourists in the city — the group were eventually brought to safety.
They were reportedly provided with “hospitality and warmth” in the nearby La Fenice theatre.
In recent years, Venice has been trying to find ways to regulate mass crowds of tourists in an attempt to make one of the world’s most-visited places “a more livable city.”
The Guardian reports that Venice’s gondoliers’ association reduced the capacity on their boats in 2020, blaming the increased burden of “overweight” tourists. The president of the Venice group told the publication that “compared with 10 or 15 years ago, tourists weigh a bit more.”
The limit on a gondola da nolo, which offers the classic tour of the city’s canals, was reduced from six to five people, while on a gondola da parada, boats used mainly to cross the Grand Canal, the number has decreased from 14 to 12.
Earlier this year, Venice also announced plans to experiment with an admission fee for day trippers next year to try to manage the flow of tourists drawn to its historic canals. Starting on January 16, tourists will be charged an admission fee of 5 euros ($5.35) for day visits to the city.