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President János Áder has thanked people who took part in rescuing the victims of the Danube collision involving the Hableány (Mermaid) pleasure boat, according to a statement on Thursday posted on the presidential office’s website.

Photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI

Áder said neither Hungary nor South Korea would forget the sight of the battered boat slowly being raised from the water. He wrote that “an extraordinary drama” had taken place on the Danube in Budapest and that every moment had been about the value of life and reverence shown for it.

Photo by Balázs Mohai/MTI

He thanked all those people who had saved lives or had worked tirelessly in especially difficult, sometimes almost impossible conditions, risking their own lives to search for and to rescue survivors and victims and to bring the damaged vessel to the surface.

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He believes that divers, sailors, paramedics, police officers, technical and security professionals, engineers and several hundreds of other professionals showed not only outstanding professionalism but demonstrated heroism.

On behalf of Hungary, I would like to express my gratitude to them for making it possible for family members of the victims to pay their last respects to their loved ones. The work they carried out in international cooperation, with great diligence and determination gives credit not only to them but to the entire country as well.

“Thanks is due to everyone who saved lives from the first moment of the tragic boat accident,” he said.

Featured photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI