British stewardess, 32, found dead aboard luxury yacht after celebrating England's World Cup victory
Rebecca Boyle was discovered dead on Wednesday in her cabin aboard the La Polonia, which was moored in the Italian Riviera port of Imperia
Law enforcement authorities confirmed that a British woman who was found dead on a superyacht in Italy. The victim was reportedly partying with friends after England's victory over Colombia in the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Rebecca Boyle had begun her work as the chief stewardess on board the $8m La Polonia only last week after being hired from a Monaco-based crewing company. After the match on Tuesday, she went out with other crew members to celebrate. After she failed to show up for breakfast the following morning, her colleagues decided to look for her and ultimately found her lifeless in her cabin on the ship which was moored in the Riviera port of Imperia at the time.
"The cause of death is still unknown but it seems as though she may have stumbled or slipped inside her cabin and hit her head or neck hard, breaking her vertebrae," Colonel Pier Enrico Burri, of the Imperia Carabinieri, told The Sun Online.
The Maltese-registered La Polonia had arrived at the Italian Riviera port of Imperia last week and was in the process of a changeover ahead of a new arrival.
According to the Daily Mail, Boyle, who hails from Notting Hill, London, is thought to have “suffered a fatal head injury after falling down the stairs after a night of drinking."
The crew members celebrated their homeland's victory in a bar, along with colleagues who worked on the Dynamic — a different yacht. The party then made their way back to Imperia to drink in a "hot tub" on the vessel, reported local media outlets.
Law enforcement authorities have asserted that they are treating the stewardess's death as a mystery until they rule out the possibility of another party being involved in the incident. She was said to have been "the worse for wear" as she left to return to her cabin after drinking.
Paramedics were called to the scene who confirmed her death and TV news reports showed her body being taken away in a private ambulance. An autopsy is yet to be performed on Boyle's body and, until then, police have said they cannot determine if alcohol played a part in her death.
In a conversation with The Sun, a police spokesperson said: “We have seen the reports that she was out celebrating England’s win in town but at this stage, we cannot say if drink played a part, because no autopsy has been carried out. At this stage, it is too early to say and her death is being treated as unexplained. We cannot yet rule out third party involvement."
Yesterday, crew members were being questioned by law enforcement and coastguard officials. In the meanwhile, a local prosecutor opened a file on the case as officers investigated the circumstances that led to her death.
La Polonia is a 150ft superyacht that can accommodate up to ten passengers and seven crew members. Renting out the vessel for a weel costs close to $200,000 a week. The ship had been sailing between French and Italian Rivieras in the past week, according to maritime records.
Boyle reportedly was asking for a second stewardess with yacht and hospitality experience to work on the vessel in a Facebook post last week, reported The Sun.
The stewardess's death comes just a couple of months after a company director named Kevin Keeler was crushed to death by his own 29ft yacht when it fell on him. His partner, Tatiana Saltykova, who has been with him for over two years, said: "Kevin was passionate about sailing and a well-loved member of the Weymouth sailing community. He loved his children. He was my best friend and a wonderful partner, I will miss him dearly."
The half-tonne wooden boat unexpectedly toppled on to him at a yacht club when he was carrying out some general repair and maintenance beneath it. Keeler's body was found under the yacht at the Weymouth Sailing Club in Dorset. Paramedics tried their best to save the victim, who was also a consultant software engineer, but in vain.
Euan NcNair, the commodore of Weymouth Sailing Club, said: "It is with much regret that I can confirm that there was a serious accident at Weymouth Sailing Club involving a boat in storage ashore and a single person who unfortunately died at the scene. It was a 29ft sailing boat that fell on him and it wasn't moving at the time. Everybody is very shocked, it's an extremely sad occasion for us and our thoughts go out to his relatives."
The boat involved in the incident was a Westerly GK29 sailing yacht and was aged over 30 years old. A Dorset police spokesman said at the time: "At 12.43pm on Monday, Dorset police was informed by the ambulance service of an incident in Weymouth. It was reported that a boat had fallen on to a man. The Health and Safety Executive has been notified and an investigation into the circumstances of the incident is underway."