Cruise

Cruise captain charged over tourist boat tragedy

The captain of a Viking longship that caused a mass fatality event has been charged with criminal misconduct.

Local reports have revealed that the captain of the Viking Sigyn longship, which collided and sank another vessel on the Danube River earlier this year, has been charged with criminal misconduct leading to mass casualties by a Hungary court.

The 64-year-old Ukraine captain, identified by police as C Yuriy from Odessa, has also been charged with 35 counts of failing to provide assistance after the collision, the Budapest chief prosecutor’s office told local media.

Yuriy faces a nine-year jail sentence.

In June, the captain of the vessel was denied bail after the Viking Sigyn collided with a river cruise ship near the Hungarian parliament building. The 70-year-old Mermaid sightseeing boat sank with 33 South Korean tourists on board, along with two Hungarian crew members.

Seven tourists were rescued from the water after the collision, but the rest of the passengers on board the Mermaid vessel tragically died. The body of one of the accident’s 28 victims has still not been recovered, according to local media reports.

According to the indictment levelled by a Budapest prosecutor last week, the cruise ship’s captain was “inattentive” and “lost focus on steering the ship for several minutes”, Hungary Today reported.

Further charges allege the captain failed to keep a safe distance and to signal his intention to overtake the river cruise ship.

The district prosecutor is seeking a nine-year prison term for the captain and wants him to be banned from driving for another nine years. The latter sentence would be based on the proviso that the captain plead guilty and waive his right to trial, the outlet reported.

In June, CCTV footage of the moment the boat capsized emerged online, which can be viewed below.

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