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Croatian businessman kills Italian couple in sailing accident

Croatian Times

Croatian businessman has killed an Italian couple in a nautical accident near Primosten in Croatia’s south.

The 63-year-old Tomislav Horvatincic rammed his speed boat into a sailing ship of tourists Francesco Salpietro (64) and Mariella Patella (61), who were spending their vacation in Primosten. The couple died from injuries received on impact. Their bodies were recovered from the sea.

Horvatincic says he lost control over his vessel when the helm stopped working. He claims he had tried to warn the sailing couple he could not steer his boat away from them, but was unsuccessful. He was apparently moving between 20 and 30 nautical miles per hour, in an area 300 metres away from the shore, where speed is limited to five miles per hour.

Navigator Mladen Gerovac told Croatian daily Jutarnji List that even if the helm had stopped working, Horvatincic could have prevented the accident by stopping the motor.

"The consequences would not have been as horrific," he said. Horvatincic also hit the sailing boat from the left side, although he should have been on its right according to regulations.

Ministry of Sea has appointed a special investigative commission to look into the case.  If proven guilty of causing the accident, the Zagreb businessman could face up to 10 years in jail.

Tag cloud couple  accident  boat  Jutarnji  Italian  prevented  shore  Croatian  Primosten  Gerovac  businessman  miles  limited  helm  nautical  sailing  stopping  Navigator  Mladen  Horvatincic

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