boat capsize
Photo: MTI

Witness interrogation records of Budapest boat disaster – 29th May – revealed that not only navigational overtaking rules but boat crossing regulations were also violated by the captain of Viking Sigyn – written by Magyar Nemzet.

According to the journal, details regarding the infringement of encounter, crossing and overtaking regulations and rules will get clarified by the examination and comparison of the witness interrogation records.

According to experts, Sigyn’s captain must have seen Mermaid – via his AIS system, his radar, even by his own eyes – and also that their itineraries intersected. Dispatchers of the river navigation communication channel Navinfo dispatchers also testified this.

Interrogation records described it clearly – Sigyn came from behind, the Mermaid went right ahead of him; latter could change its direction according to the regulations, Sigyn should have slowed down.

Additionally, shipping regulations also clearly state that if the ship’s captain notes the danger of collision, the boat must fire a series of concise sounds.

However, Sigyn’s captain did not even perceive the collision itself.

As the Hungarian news portal Index describes, it is already revealed by the interrogation records that – the American passengers on Viking were shouting to the captain Chaplinsky: “boat, boat, stop!” ; and that he hit a smaller ship. Chaplinsky replied “What?” – “What?”. This happened at 21 o’clock 6 minutes 7 seconds.

Sigyn was called in Russian by the captain of Viking Ingvi going behind at 21 o’clock 9 minutes 57 seconds – “I’m here. Jura, what happened?“ Chaplinskiy answered: “I collided with a boat. Do you see anything behind?” The answer was: “I do not see anything behind you.”

Ingvi also sailed across the watery grave of Mermaid, and over those passengers who dropped to the water from the upper deck – without stopping.

Concerning this factor Zsolt Sógor, victims’ representative of the Mermaid’s operating Panorama Deck Ltd. said to Magyar Nemzetit is necessary to examine the failure of assistance not only in the case of Yuriy Chaplinsky, but the whole Ingvi’s staff as well.

However, proceedings arise new liability issues. Namely, foreign passengers of the ship running over Mermaid reported about horrific scenes. American tourists were standing on the hotel ship’s upper deck, taking photos of the Parliament; they saw them sink to the watery grave in direct vicinity, even looked into the eyes of the victims in their last moments.

Magyar Nemzet quoted some witnesses

  • Katherine B.G. was taking photos in front of the boat, on the right. Suddenly Mermaid appeared in her eyesight:

“… I saw that it was so close that we will collide. […] Viking hit the back of the small boat […] it turned to its side and sank very quickly […] I saw the other boat, people were waving […], and shouting.”

  • Sana U. seeing the rapidly approaching Mermaid thought they would collide, and then the other ship will bounce off the Sigyn:

“The small boat crashed into the right side of our boat […] tilted to the side, then immediately got under the bigger ship [… ] I screamed and ran back to the captain, who came forward and checked what happened – said the passenger.”

  • Pamela P.A. said a few moments after the crash:

“The small boat (as a result of the collision) turned in front of the larger ship, then it turned to its right side and sank. The small boat came up to the surface on the left side of the bigger, I saw a few people in the water. […] They were still alive […] life jackets were thrown to them […] the Mermaid turned to its right side, all the vests came up to the surface, but no human.”


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