rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

Ukrainian Captain to be Charges over Danube Disaster

Hungarian prosecutors are expected to charge the captain of a cruise ship that struck and sank a small tourist vessel on the River Danube, killing 28 mostly Korean tourists, after police finished their investigation, officials said on Tuesday.

The tourist boat Mermaid, with 35 people on board, sank in seconds in May after the river cruiser hit it from behind under a bridge in the Hungarian capital during heavy rain, in the worst disaster on the Danube in more than half a century.

Lawyers for the Ukrainian cruiser captain, identified by police as 64-year-old C. Yuriy from Odessa, who has been in custody since he was arrested after the incident, have said he is devastated but did nothing wrong. They could not be reached for further comment on Tuesday.

"The (cruiser) captain was definitely in the control cabin at the time of the accident," Budapest deputy police chief Adrian Pal told a news conference announcing their investigation had been concluded.

"Neither alcohol nor other psychoactive substances could be detected in his bloodstream," Pal said. "He just did not notice the Mermaid, simple as that. He never saw it before he hit it."

Police transferred the case to prosecutors and proposed pressing formal charges against the captain. Their investigation did not establish the responsibility of anyone else on board the cruiser.

Prosecution spokesman Ferenc Rab said prosecutors would prepare and submit charges after a mandatory 30-day waiting period, adding the captain would remain in custody to prevent him escaping.

The precise charges will be determined by the prosecutor. Police were investigating him on suspicion of misconduct leading to mass casualties and 35 counts of failing to provide assistance.

Seven people survived the sinking of the Mermaid. Two Hungarian crew were among the dead.

The liner's owner, Swiss-based Viking Cruises Ltd, has said it is cooperating with Hungarian investigators.

Reporting by Marton Dunai

Oct 15, 2019



Hackers Demand $5M from Pemex

copyright Leo Lintang/AdobeStock

Hackers demanded about $5 million in bitcoin from Mexico's Pemex, they told Reuters on Tuesday

MPC Capital Buys Stake in Albis

Pic: Albis Shipping & Transport

German shipping asset manager MPC Capital has acquired a strategic stake of 50 percent in

New ICS, OCIMF Guidelines for Polar Safety

Photo: OCIMF

Maritime trade between Arctic destinations and the rest of the world is expected to expand and an

Cruise Ship Trends

ALMACO Staterooms for Carnival Elation


After completing a new stateroom project onboard Carnival Elation during a dry dock in 2017 --

EU Prioritizes on Sustainabile Cruise Activity


The sustainability of cruise activity in Europe is currently under pressure, says the European Sea

Fincantieri: Jobs at Risk if Merger with Chantiers de l'Atlantique Stopped

Photo: Fincantieri

Fincantieri Chairman Giampiero Massolo defended the Italian shipbuilder's planned acquisition of

Maritime Apps