It's not uncommon to to see boats of all types "slung into the air" at rowing clubs all over the Veneto, but to see one with people in it, well that caught my attention.
The photo was taken along the Fondamenta Zattere at the Canottieri Bucintoro - a rowing club near the Punta di Dogana (the far east tip of Dorsoduro). The water in the foreground is the Giudecca Canal, and the Island of Giudecca can be seen in the distance. To the left we see the highly photographed church of San Giorgio Maggiore, which sits on an island of the same name.
I must admit some lack of experience here, as I don't typically hoist boats with people aboard.
Of course every single time I'm about to lift a boat, if my children are around they ask if they can "have a ride" in it. Crane, hoist, and forklift operators tend to frown on such things.
Along with the link, Tamás included the following text:
I've never seen a live loaded crane launch, except for lifeboats on giant liners.
Considering the gondola has no keel per se, it could even break up while hoisted.
Maybe they mistook it for an airship gondola and thought it ought to fly?
I don't know about the boat's strength to bear such a load.
The adults appear to have positioned themselves at the strapping points, with younger riders in the center.
This vessel looks like she's built to take punishment, and since we haven't seen any news stories about people "falling to their deaths from a Venetian gondola", we can probably assume that it works.
Would I do the same thing with one of my gondolas?