Hundreds of trees have been uprooted, ancient ruins have collapsed, and our kayaks have been tossed around like leafs in the wind. Most have survived the ordeal, but there’s quite a bit of damage to the fiber glass boats.
The area where we have the equipment is no longer safe to use due to fallen and half-fallen trees and branches.
On June 12th just after 11am a tornado (strength EF2) hit eastern Venice. It formed south of Venice between the Lido and the Giudecca, then moved northwards passing Sant’Elena, Certosa, Vignole and Sant’Erasmo. Nobody got serious hurt by the tornado, but it caused material damages of €10 million or more.
Venice Kayak is based on the Certosa island, and our base there got a direct hit. The tornado ran across the island, first close to the hotel where tables and chairs were strewn all over the area, then down the middle of the island uprooting large trees and causing the collapse of the only building left of the medieval monastery which has give the island its name.
It then reached the central part of the island, where Venice Kayak and the Venice Sea School have their boats and equipment. Boats, both kayaks, sit-on-tops and smaller sailing boats were thrown around, some landing over 50m from where they were.
The tornado then continued over the northern forested part of the island, uprooting still more trees, before continuing across the Vignole to Sant’Erasmo.
On the Certosa island over one thousand trees were uprooted, broken or damaged.
Compared to the damages others have sustained Venice Kayak has escaped the worst, but the damage is more than enough to cause problems for a small company like Venice Kayak.
Most of our fiberglass kayaks are damaged, some severely. One was thrown under a container, which then fell down from its supports and squashed the kayak completely. Another was hit by the bow on another kayak, which must have been thrown like a dart at it. René’s kayak ended underneath the others, and has serious damages front and centre. Most of the other fiberglass boats have lighter damages, but bad enough that they cannot be used unless repaired.
All our plastic boats survived without worse damages than detached hatches and some superficial scratches.
Venice Kayak is still able to do tours, thanks to the robustness of the plastic boats and a bit of good fortune.
We’ll be operating from a different location on the island, and tours will start from the marina rather than from the beach, as there are too many fallen and broken trees in area where the beach is.