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Hableány

Ill-Fated Boat Recovered from the Danube

River boat sank in accident almost two weeks before

D&T
June 19, 2019

On June 11, following several days of preparations, the wreckage of the 40-ton, 27-meter sightseeing boat Hableány (Mermaid) was lifted by rescue workers with the help of a crane vessel from the bottom of the River Danube onto a barge in Budapest.

The Hableány sank almost two weeks before: shortly after 9 p.m. on May 29, its rear side was hit by the 135-meter, 1,000-ton river cruise ship Viking Sygin at the foot of Margaret Bridge. This caused the boat to capsize and disappear in the water within seconds. It had 35 people onboard: 33 South Koreans (31 tourists and two tour guides) and the two-member Hungarian crew. Only seven people, all of them South Koreans, survived. They were rescued by police and civilian boats right after the accident. As we go to press, the bodies of all but three victims have been found – either in the wreckage or in the river.

Following the accident, rescue workers (including special divers) arrived from South Korea to Budapest to help their Hungarian colleagues in recovering the shipwreck and the bodies of the victims. Even South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha came to Hungary “to personally manage the operations of her colleagues at the accident site”, her ministry said. Police investigation is underway. Viking Sygin’s Ukrainian captain is free on bail but he cannot leave the Hungarian capital.

D&T

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