Italian workboat designer, two others killed in powerboat crash during record-breaking attempt

Photo: FB Design Group

Italian officials have confirmed the deaths of three people after a powerboat crashed during an attempt by its crew to break an existing speed record on Tuesday, September 17.

The incident occurred at around 21:00 local time when the 19-metre vessel, which had left Monte Carlo earlier, struck a flood control barrier close to the finish line in Venice.

Eyewitnesses said that, due to the impact, the boat jumped nearly 30 metres into the air before landing on its stern.

The body of 76-year-old Fabio Buzzi, a famed Italian vessel designer and 10-time world powerboat champion, was pulled from the wreckage by responding fire and rescue teams.

Also found in the submerged powerboat were the bodies of Italian national Luca Nicolini and Dutch national Eric Hoorn. A fourth crewmember, who has been identified as Mario Invernizzi, survived the incident but ended up with serious injuries after being thrown overboard during the crash.

Mr Invernizzi has since been brought to hospital in Venice for treatment.

A Venice port official said that Mr Buzzi may have miscalculated the distance needed to make the turn as he was entering the lagoon on the final leg of the attempt.

In addition to having been a professional powerboat racer since 1978 and setting the world speed record for diesel boats in 1979, Mr Buzzi was the founder and proprietor of Italy-based FB Design Group, a company that specialises in rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and other small high-speed craft for maritime security and leisure applications.

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