A US publishing executive has died after a boating accident off Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
Adrienne Vaughan fell into the water when a rented motorboat she was on with her family crashed into a sailboat that was carrying more than 80 tourists on Thursday, reports said.
The 45-year-old was pulled out of the water and brought to a dock but died before an air ambulance arrived, according to Italian media.
Ms Vaughan was president of Bloomsbury Publishing’s US branch, which publishes the Harry Potter books and other titles in the US.
The company confirmed Ms Vaughan’s death – with tributes calling her an “extraordinary human being”.
Her husband Mike White was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury. Their two young children were reported to be unharmed.
No crew members or tourists on board the sailboat – some of whom were celebrating a wedding – are thought to have been hurt.
The motorboat carrying the Vaughan family was rented through a skipper who allegedly tested positive for substance use, according to Italian news agency ANSA – although it is unclear whether the result was due to alcohol or drug consumption.
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The skipper, an Italian aged around 30 years old, broke his pelvis and ribs in the crash, the agency said.
The motorboat crashed when it was on its way to Positano, one of the most popular tourist resorts on the Italian coastline.
An investigation into the crash has been launched by the Italian coastguard, overseen by prosecutors at a courthouse in the southern port city of Salerno.
Ms Vaughan joined Bloomsbury in 2020 as executive editor and chief operating officer before being promoted to president a year later.
Under her leadership, the book Chasing Me To My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2022.
Ms Vaughan, who had a master’s degree in business from New York University, previously worked at Oxford University Press and the Disney Book Group.
She also served on the board of industry trade group the Association of American Publishers.
The association said Ms Vaughan was “the leader of a dazzling talent and infectious passion and had a deep commitment to authors and readers”.
“Most of all she was an extraordinary human being and those of us who had the opportunity to work with her will be forever fortunate,” a statement added.