Floating platforms on the Danube during the preparation for raising of sunken Hableány tour boat – Photo: wikipedia

Charges brought against captain witnessing Hableany collision

Budapest district prosecutors have pressed charges against the captain of a cruise ship close to a deadly boat accident on the River Danube which killed 28 people three years ago, the Budapest chief prosecutor said on Thursday.

In the accident on May 29, 2019, the Viking Sigyn cruise ship collided with the Hableany sightseeing boat which had 33 South Korean tourists on board and a crew of two Hungarians. Seven tourists were rescued from the water after the collision and the rest died. One of the bodies has not been recovered. The trial of the Ukrainian captain of the Viking Sigyn is still ongoing.

The prosecutors of Budapest’s 6th and 7th districts have brought charges against the captain of another cruise ship, the Viking Idun which had been following the Viking Sigyn, on failure to provide assistance on 27 counts, the Budapest chief prosecutor told MTI in a statement.

The 59-year-old man, also a Ukrainian national, saw the collision in front and contacted the captain of Sigyn, who confirmed the collision. The defendant, however, failed to ask any questions concerning the whereabouts of the Hableany tourist boat, the possible number of passengers falling into the water and emergency measures planned by his fellow captain. Minutes later his ship overtook the Viking Sigyn and sailed on without providing any assistance despite witnessing the launching of a rescue boat from the other cruise ship, according to the statement.

The district prosecutors have proposed that the court hand the captain a prison term on probation. The captain is currently under criminal supervision in Hungary and is required to report to the police every month.

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