Latest on the gondola disasterBy
I will correct my earlier post, but as the details begin to come into sharper focus, I want to report that the gondola with the German family did not capsize, so I can’t interpret early reports on the gondoliers diving into the Canal. Of course they did what they could to help, but the boat remained upright, if damaged.
I know that the gondoliers recovered some small floating objects belonging to the littlest girl, and placed them on the fatal dock with a bouquet of flowers: one small rubber duck, and one very small pink shoe.
The gondoliers have carried their proposals to City Hall: To start with, a ban on any vehicle overtaking any other vehicle. Vaporettos in line, taxis in line, gondolas in line. (I don’t know about barges.) As anyone who has seen the Grand Canal knows, this procedure has not been the case so far. I have no opinion on the feasibility of the idea but presume that men who spend all day in the area know something about how things work.
They are also proposing revisions of the vaporetto schedules, to prevent backups such as the one which contributed to the disaster (three vaporettos were idling in sequence, awaiting their turn to use their respective ACTV docks). That would seem to be a no-brainer.
Hence another correction to my report: The fatal vaporetto was not moving slowly; it wasn’t moving at all, until it was time to engage the gears to move forward, which involved backing up first, which was the point at which the gondola was struck.
Two other vaporetto drivers have also become involved in the legal situation. I don’t know what the formal accusations are. I could know, but I am not following every single sentence being written about the case. The important thing isn’t what’s being said today, but what is done tomorrow. Or next year. Or whenever or if anything is actually done.
If something meaningful occurs, I’ll try to let you know.