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Venice tourists capsize gondola, fall into freezing canal water trying to take selfies

People take a gondola ride by the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice on September 9, 2020, on the eighth day of the 77th Venice Film Festival, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus.
People take a gondola ride by the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice on September 9, 2020, on the eighth day of the 77th Venice Film Festival, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus.

A group of tourists in Venice went for an unexpected dip on Sunday when they capsized their gondola.

A video of the incident on social media shows the gondola completely upside down after the tourists stood up and attempted to snap selfies. The tourists are seen scrambling in the freezing water near a bridge along the Rio de la Verona canal.

The gondolier was also thrown into the water. A TikTok also shows the five tourists clinging to the edge of the capsized gondola.

The gondola flipped while the gondolier was about to go underneath a low bridge near St. Mark's Square and he warned the tourists not to stand up, but that might have gotten lost in translation, according to CNN. Moving around threw off the boat's center of gravity, causing it to topple over.

There were no injuries during the incident, except for the loss of one cell phone.

Unfortunately, the canal water the tourists swam in is far from sanitary. The canals are cleaned about every decade or so and are full of human waste and trash.

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The Venice Gondola Association told CNN there was no damage to the gondola, although the chairs and blankets were soaked.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Venice has been cracking down on badly behaved tourists and over-tourism in recent years. Last month, the city announced it will charge a 5-euro fee for day visitors in January to Venice during peak times.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at kwong@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tourists capsize gondola in Venice trying to take selfies