articleimg-1
May 31, 2019

Police arrest Ukrainian captain of Viking cruise ship in Budapest boat tragedy

Sources say human error is to blame for the accident as the search continues along the entire Hungarian stretch of the Danube for the 21 missing tourists.

Police have questioned and arrested the Ukrainian captain of the cruise ship, Viking Sigyn of Viking River Cruises, suspected of causing the tragic boat accident in Hungary on Wednesday night.

Sources say human error is to blame for the accident as the search continues along the entire Hungarian stretch of the Danube for the 21 missing tourists who were aboard the sightseeing boat.

The 64-year-old Ukrainian was arrested and held over reckless misconduct in waterborne traffic leading to mass casualties, and an investigation is underway. 

The smaller vessel, Hableány (Mermaid) – with a crew of two and 33 South Korean tourists on board – was on a routine sightseeing tour when it crashed with and was ran over by a 135 meter river cruiser. Video footage revealed that the boat sank in seven seconds.

Mihály Tóth, spokesman for the company operating the sightseeing boat said the vessel was in good working order and was equipped with all mandatory lifesaving gear. Imre Horváth, secretary general of the Hungarian Shipping Federation said the tragedy was caused by human error.

Seven died, seven have been rescued and the search continues for the missing 21 tourists. All of Hungary’s 15 search-and-rescue Danube boats are at work and emergency services enlisted the help of downriver Serbia.

Photo credit: MTI