Friday 6 December 2019

Washed away: Irishman loses houseboat and all possessions in Venice floods

Gone: Daryl Smith stands with a flare where his boat was destroyed
Gone: Daryl Smith stands with a flare where his boat was destroyed

Louise Walsh

An Irishman's houseboat and all his possessions were washed away in the recent record floods in Venice.

Daryl Smith (34), from Nobber, Co Meath, saw high waters devastate the Italian city's streets last week.

He was visiting a friend when he heard his home had been wrecked by the rising waters and storm winds of up to 125kmh.

"The waters kept rising up to 187cm and when myself and my friend, who lives on the third storey, went downstairs, the water was up to our waists. I'm one of the few people in Venice who live on a houseboat and another friend rang to say she could no longer see my home and my smaller boat.

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"As the high water level started to decrease, I went with my friend to look for my home but only saw pieces of my boat Pegasus floating everywhere. My home had sank and I had lost everything along with my Irish passport on board."

However Mr Smith, who has been living and working in Venice for the past five years, has been heartened by the community response he received. As he struggles with costs to restore his houseboat, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help him get back on his feet.

Irish Independent

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