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

Ship collision – Trial of Viking Idun captain starts

Topal F, the captain of Viking Idun, the sister vessel of the Viking Sigyn which caused a deadly accident on the Danube in 2019, pleaded not guilty in the trial hearing the charge that he neglected to provide aid during the accident.

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.

According to his testimony made earlier and read in court on Monday, the Viking Idun passed the Viking Sigyn twice around the time of the accident, but the crew had detected no trouble. Visibility had been extremely restricted due to bad weather and the maneuvre they were performing, Topal F said. Radio communications from the smaller vessels that had witnessed the accident were all in Hungarian rather than German, the official language of Danube sailing, and the Ukrainian captain said he had not been able not discern what had happened.

Yuriy Chaplinsky, the captain of Viking Sigyn which was directly involved in the accident, was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison in 2023 for negligence by endangering river traffic and causing a lethal accident. He was not sentenced on charges of failing to provide aid to the victims.

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