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Life Jackets on Gondolas in Venice?

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Feb 18th, 2004, 11:13 PM
  #1
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Life Jackets on Gondolas in Venice?

Hi, I think my cousin may join me on a trip to Italy, but her mother told her since she can't swim she shouldn't go to Venice.

She heard about a gondola capsizing on the canal and the people falling out, I said they must have life jackets but she is freaked out.

Anybody seen lifejackets on the gondolas or busses? Or is this a red flag that she shouldn't go at all (for my sake)? She hasn't traveled very far from home before.

Thanks, Faith.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 12:02 AM
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I would hate to think that one's lack of swimming skills would prevent them from travelling to Italy. Seems downright ridiculous.

Number One- It is not necessary to go on a Gondola ride. Venice is very manageable on foot.

Number Two- I don't think they have life jackets on the gondolas. I might be wrong, but I never saw them.

Don't let something so small and unimportant stop you from going to see the world. I don't know how old your cousin is, but it sounds like her mother doesn't want her to ever leave home.
Hope to see you here.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 12:55 AM
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Sorry, Faith, but this is one of the funniest titles I've seen here!

Tell your cousin to learn to swim. Good life skill, anyway. It is certainly possible to fall in the water in Venice - or practically anywhere else.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 12:58 AM
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not to be disrespectful..but while travelling via vaporetto to the islands on a particularly rainy day in Venice, my partner told me the story of the capsizing vaporetto. My first response was..well to have seen Venice would have been worth it!
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Feb 19th, 2004, 12:59 AM
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The gondolas aren't meant to be the sole means of transport around Venice's waterways -- that is why they have the vaporetti! I have never heard of anyone falling out of a gondola (unless they were drunk?!). The gondoliers are experienced rowsmen who know the waterways like the back of their hands. They certainly wouldn't put their boat or passengers in jeopardy or possible collision with another boat, etc. There is nothing to worry about! If it is a major concern, then ride the vaporetti - you will be safe there high above the water!
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Feb 19th, 2004, 03:58 AM
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Well with that kind of thinking anybody who can't swin has to stay away from any oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, can never go on a cruise, on a ferry, or on any airplane flying over water. Your cousin wouldn't be able to go anywhere!

No neither gondolas nor vaporetti have life jackets - there would be no room for passengers if they were all wearing life jackets. (FYI - in many places in Venice if the boat sank - I can't imagine how - all you would have to do is stand on top of it - the water there is generally VERY shallow.)

This is the silliest posit I have ever read here!
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Feb 19th, 2004, 04:48 AM
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I think that there ARE life jackets - - almost certainly on vaporetti - - and truth be told, I bet you that there actually is some kind of flotation device even on gondole. The gondolier has some kind of compartment(s) in the back I think.

While the question seems a bit silly (to those eho have been there - - but someone uninformed might think that there is gondola traffic out on the open Mediterranean Sea!) - - there is not as much fun poked at those who have fear of flying. And we don't even know that the cousin or her mother have any actual fear in this situation. It was just a question for pity sake!

Best wishes,

Rex
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Feb 19th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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If her mother is that concerned, promise her that your cousin won't go on a gondola or vaporetto. It's not necessary as you can walk just about anywhere as long as you don't want to go to one of the smaller lagoon islands or the Lido. It's highly unlikely that any vaporetto would capsize or sink--certainly the ones that service the canals of the old city would not be exposed to conditions conducive to such an eventuality.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Oh, the vaporetti do have flotation devices for passengers.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 05:23 AM
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Any further info on that capsizing vaporetto?

Strikes me as something one tells greenhorns.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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Yipes, if I ever fell in "that" water I would hope to drown because I know that the fecal bacteria would certainly kill me anyway!
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Feb 19th, 2004, 05:44 AM
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I thought this was a joke, but I guess not. It would be very difficult to drown while on a gondola ride. Most of the canals are pretty narrow and shallow, and there are always lots of other boats around.

Besides - they strap you in, so that if it flips over, they can just right it up, and you'll just be a little wet!!!
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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:02 AM
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Lifejackets on buses?
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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:05 AM
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Ira, I, too, have been trying to confirm this.

Holly_uncasdewar claimed in the following thread that she read in Veniceword.com a traghetto with 16 people capsized in mid-November 2003:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34459709

I've searched numerous archives and there is no record of this event. I'm sorry I didn't ask friends in Venice over the holiday but I intend to e-mail an inquiry.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Howard--yes, on the water buses (vaporetti).
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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:16 AM
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Rufus, of course. How stupid of me! Oh well, it's still early in the day!
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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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Hi
As indicated above, faithonholiday's cousin's mother must be thinking of very old movies and books and is under the impression that gondolas are a form of mass transit nowadays. They aren't, any more than the horse-drawn carriages around Central Park in NYC are.

Vaporettos are wide and large water buses. I suppose water accidents are possible, but so are land bus and automobile accidents 24-7 everywhere else, and with much more frequency and higher fatality rates.

By the way, I wouldn't want to swim in the canals either, but they are not open sewers. Venice has pipes, and sewage treatment plants.

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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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Silly or not, the depth of the water in the canals aren't too deep to begin with. If a gondola ever capsized I think one could almost walk ashore.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:36 AM
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Sorry, Elaine, but Venice has no sewage treatment plant. So far, the canals are it and it's been this way since the beginning.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:50 AM
  #20
ira
 
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Hi NYCFS,

I can understand an overloaded traghetto overturning, but a vaporetto capsizing?
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