Hungarian prosecutors have told local media outlets that the captain of a river cruise ship that rammed into and sank a tour boat in the Danube River in Budapest late last month was also the captain of another vessel involved in an earlier maritime accident in the Netherlands.
The 64-year-old Ukrainian captain of Viking Sigyn had reportedly been at the helm of Viking Idun, another Viking Cruises river cruise ship, when it collided with a Maltese-flagged tanker in Zeeland on April 1 of this year. The earlier incident left five passengers and one crewmember aboard the cruise ship with minor injuries.
Viking Sigyn's captain has since been arrested in Hungary for reckless endangerment in connection with the sinking of the river tour boat Hableany on May 29 and the subsequent deaths of at least 19 South Korean passengers and one Hungarian crewmember.
Viking Cruises, however, claims that the captain of Viking Idun and the captain of Viking Sigyn were not the same individual.
A Viking Cruises spokesperson said that, although Viking Sigyn's captain was indeed on board Viking Idun during the April 1 collision, a different individual was at the helm at the time.
The company has declined to comment further on either incident, stating that it will wait until the investigations into both have concluded.
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COLUMN | Are cruise passengers aware of the dangers? [Tug Times]