According to latest expert opinions, instead of the required two sailors, only one captained the Hableány sightseeing boat, which collided with a cruise ship in central Budapest back in May, meaning that the Hableány was unfit for navigation, writes Hungarian news portal Index.hu.
Experts said that the Hableány
was unfit to sail at the time and place of the event due to the lack of a sailor.
According to Index.hu, the need to increase the number of crew was already included in the ship’s previous certificate. The expert added that the ship’s captain should have reported this to the operator, the Panorama Deck Kft.
According to the news portal, experts said that the Hableány was nowhere near equipped as the Viking Sigyn hotel ship. For example, the sightseeing ship carrying South Korean tourists did not have a radar, which would have greatly helped its movement in bad weather conditions like at the time of the accident. From the wheelhouse, “the canopy and chimney on the upper deck partially restricted the view.”
Last month, the 64-year-old Ukrainian captain of the Viking Sigyn was taken into custody on suspicion of criminal misconduct but later released on a bail of 15 million forints (EUR 45,800).
Ship Collision: Cruise Ship Captain Back in Custody on Suspicion of Abandoning Victims
The municipal court ruling granting the captain’s release also obliged him to remain in Budapest. On Monday, the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, said in a non-binding resolution that the decision by lower courts to release the captain on bail was unlawful. The captain is now back in police custody on suspicion of failing to provide assistance after the collision.