According to local media, while navigating a low bridge near St. Mark’s Square, the gondolier’s alleged requests for the passengers to remain seated and stop taking pictures were ignored, causing the incident to occur.
In footage shared to TikTok by @ienaridens69 on Monday (4 December), tourists are seen clinging to the side of the flipped vessel or swimming to passing boats after the cold plunge into the Venice waters.
By failing to heed warnings, standing for selfies and moving out of their seats as the gondola travelled, the wayward passengers caused the boat’s centre of gravity to become off balance, resulting in the vessel capsizing.
The video has been watched over 4.2 million times since it was posted on 4 December and viewers seemed to have very little sympathy for the Chinese tourists.
One user commented: “That’s what happens when you can’t follow simple instructions.”
“They were told what to do… they ignored the rules…. Enjoy being wet,” wrote another.
Since 2020, gondola tours have decreased passenger capacity because of “overweight tourists” with gondola da parades, used to take passengers across the Grand Canal, now seating only 12.
It’s not the first time snapping selfies has posed a health hazard to tourists.
Too many dangerous selfies forced the closure of the outdoor carriage on New Zealand’s iconic Coastal Pacific train in 2019 after travellers put their lives at risk by leaning out of the carriage to take selfies, photos and videos of the landscape.
Elsewhere, a woman who was caught posing for photographs while hanging off a railing on a Royal Caribbean ship was banned for life by the cruise company for “recklessly and dangerously posing for a photo.”