Kiwi tourist reportedly jumps off Venice bridge onto water taxi

A man who jumped from the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice and crashed onto a passing water taxi is thought to ...
MANUEL SILVESTRI/REUTERS

A man who jumped from the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice and crashed onto a passing water taxi is thought to be a Kiwi.

A tourist who jumped off a bridge in Venice, Italy, and smashed into a passing water taxi is reported to be a Kiwi.

The man, 49, who lives most of the year in St Tropez in France, was badly injured and taken to hospital with fractures and severe trauma, The Telegraph reported.

He was reportedly drunk when he leapt off the historic stone Rialto Bridge, which crosses the Grand Canal. Instead of plummeting into the fetid water, he landed on the boat, smashing its windshield and hurting the driver.

When the New Zealander recovers, he will face charges of endangering public transport.

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Police said he was in a "serious but stable" condition, and had been tested to find out if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He was thought to have been working on a yacht when he jumped just before midnight on Friday, in front of crowds of strolling visitors.

His plight has been met with little sympathy.

Instead a frustrated Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro has threatened badly behaved visitors with a night in prison.

"I insist on (introducing) special powers to the city to uphold public order. Pickpockets, vandals, drunks! A night in the cells," the mayor wrote on his Twitter account.

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The Telegraph said Venice was fighting a running battle with uncouth and unsociable behaviour by some of the 20 million people who visit every year.

Swimming is banned, and despite the heat the frequent smell of sewage makes the water less than enticing.

Past issues have included men walking around without shirts on, the eating of packed lunches in St Mark's Square and feeding the pigeons.

In 2013, four British tourists were photographed leaping off the Rialto Bridge wearing just their underpants.

 - Stuff

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