World: Before Fatal Boat Crash in Budapest, Safety Warnings Went Unheeded - PressFrom - US
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WorldBefore Fatal Boat Crash in Budapest, Safety Warnings Went Unheeded

16:40  12 june  2019
16:40  12 june  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

South Korean divers begin search for Hungary boat victims

South Korean divers begin search for Hungary boat victims A team of South Korean divers tried Monday to reach a sunken sightseeing vessel in Budapest after its collision last week with a river cruise ship that killed seven tourists and left 21 people missing. The reconnaissance dive was the first by a 27-man team sent by Seoul to help international divers and experts assessing ways of hoisting the submerged boat or searching for bodies presumed to be stuck inside. The Mermaid boat carrying mainly South Korean tourists overturned and sank late Wednesday, seconds after colliding with the Viking Sigyn cruise ship on a busy stretch of the river in the heart of the Hungarian capital.

BUDAPEST — The warnings came before a ship called the Mermaid set out on May 29 in driving rain for a nighttime tour of Budapest . Before the much larger Viking Sigyn struck the Mermaid, capsizing and sinking it in seconds.

At least seven people are dead and more than 20 people are missing after a sightseeing boat collided with a larger ship and sank in Budapest . (May 30) AP.

Before Fatal Boat Crash in Budapest, Safety Warnings Went Unheeded© Balazs Mohai/MTI, via Associated Press The vessel carried 33 tourists from South Korea and two crew members; only seven of those aboard survived. Several of the victims have still not been found.

BUDAPEST — Long before Hungary’s worst boating accident in at least six decades, Hungarian officials had been warned that traffic on the Danube had soared to dangerous levels around Budapest, but the government did not curb the number of vessels plying the river.

On the night of May 29, in a driving rain, an international cruise ship, the Viking Sigyn struck and sank a smaller sightseeing boat, the Mermaid, killing 28 people. The cause is still under investigation, but the accident has raised concerns that at the municipal and national levels, where tourism has become a major source of revenue, political calculations and the drive for profit outweighed safety concerns.

Hungary: Body recovered from site of sunken Danube tour boat

Hungary: Body recovered from site of sunken Danube tour boat Hungarian officials say divers have recovered a body found near the sunken tour boat which was carrying South Korean tourists on the Danube River.

Salvage crews recovered four bodies on Tuesday as they slowly lifted the wreck of a boat two weeks after it capsized on the Danube River in Budapest with a group of South Korean tourists on board, officials said. The Mermaid boat sank in seconds on May 29th after a large cruise liner hit it from

The National Transportation Safety Board says it mistakenly reported a Coast Guard crewman sent text messages just before a fatal collision in San Diego. The four members of the Coast Guard boat crew face courts-martial for the crash before a boat parade on San Diego Bay, which killed an 8-year-old

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Either the national government or the city, both controlled by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, could have acted to limit the number of ships and boats operating in Budapest; the national tourism agency grants permits to sightseeing vessels, while the city controls access to the docks.

“City officials were warned about the dangers of too much traffic,” said Gabor Demszky, the mayor of Budapest from 1990 to 2010. “But they failed to act. It is a very profitable business.”

On Tuesday, a floating crane slowly lifted the Mermaid to the surface, and divers recovered four bodies from the wreck. The vessel carried 33 tourists from South Korea and two crew members; only seven of those aboard survived, and several of the victims have still not been found.

Hungary: Huge floating crane approaching Danube sunken boat

Hungary: Huge floating crane approaching Danube sunken boat Hungary's state media say a huge floating crane that could lift a sunken sightseeing boat out of the Danube River is on its way to the accident site in Budapest. Meanwhile, the confirmed death toll from last week's accident rose to 12, as police said Wednesday that a male body recovered far downstream was of one of the 33 South Korean tourists aboard the Hableany (Mermaid), when it collided with a river cruise ship, capsizing and sinking in about seven seconds. Seven people were rescued and 16, including the two Hungarian crew members, remain missing.

The horrific crash that took the life of 8-year-old Charlotte McCue last month on Lake George is the latest example. Marry told police the three friends planned to take a boat owned by West's father, pick up more people and go to Log Bay Day, an annual booze fest on Lake George.

Distracted tug boat pilot was consumed with family emergency before causing crash that killed two on Delaware River last summer. The tour boat 's radio calls to the approaching tug went unheeded in the moments before the collision, the NTSB found. The mate, in brief statements the day of the crash

[The accident had resonance in SouthKorea, whoseown ferry industry remains troubled even after the deaths of 250 schoolchildren in a sinking.]

The 64-year-old Ukrainian captain of the Viking Sigyn, identified only as Yuriy C., has been arrested on suspicion of negligence. Viking Cruises confirmed reports that he was part of the crew of another ship, the Viking Idun, that was involved in a collision in the Netherlands in April, raising questions about how he had been allowed to take the helm of one of the newest and largest vessels in the company’s fleet.

But beyond the role of human error, people have long pointed to the risks of heavy river traffic through Budapest — especially at night, when tourist vessels offer views of the city at its most spectacular. City officials have been warned, in at least two reports, that the number of vessels navigating this stretch of the Danube and the lack of communication between international and local ships could pose a danger.

Hungary: Death toll rises to 15 in Danube tour boat crash

Hungary: Death toll rises to 15 in Danube tour boat crash Hungarian police say two more bodies have been recovered from the Danube River tour boat crash, raising the death toll to 15, with 13 of the 33 South Koreans on board and the two Hungarian crew members still missing. Seven South Korean tourists were rescued after the May 29 collision between the Hableany (Mermaid) sightseeing boat and the Viking Sigyn river cruise ship. A huge floating crane may be able to lift the Hableany out of the water in the coming days.

Andy Brown wrote Warnings Unheeded not to assign blame but to educate. To inform of what happened The huge plane went down in front of the horrified ground crew and the wife and children of Col. Warnings Unheeded works its way through the details of events leading up to each incident

Safety MUST factor into all your preparation as well as your actual boating , whether your voyage is about fishing, leisure, sport or just messing about When the decision was taken to go below, no risk of collision existed. Subsequent alterations of course by the ship resulted in both vessels being on a

A 2013 development study commissioned by the city warned that the increase in hotel boats “has led to numerous points of tension,” including overcrowding on the waterway. This year, a transportation development study prepared by the Budapest Transportation Authority found that more “cooperation was needed between professional and tourism-related vessels on the Budapest” stretch of the Danube.

The Hungarian tourism agency said that the country complied with all international regulations regarding the waterway, including those regarding the safe navigation of large vessels.

“There are several indications that human error was responsible,” the agency said, adding that it expressed its deepest condolences to the victims of the tragedy.

The newest cruise ships, known as longships, are essentially floating hotels, almost 450 feet long and able to accommodate several hundred guests.

Hotel ships, like the 442-foot Viking Sigyn, must compete for space with local sightseeing vessels like the Mermaid, an 89-foot, Soviet-era vessel, as well as with industrial transport barges, permanently docked restaurants and other floating structures used for entertainment. Budapest residents say the increased volume is striking, as is the rise in air pollution from the ships.

Death toll in Danube River tour boat collision rises to 20

Death toll in Danube River tour boat collision rises to 20 Hungarian police say the body of another South Korean tourist has been recovered following the May 29 accident in which a sightseeing boat sank in seconds after colliding with a cruise ship on the Danube River, raising the confirmed death toll to 20. Police said Sunday that they are still searching for seven other South Koreans and the sunken tour boat's captain. Police said the body of the South Korean woman was found at the town of Szazhalombatta, about 29 kilometers (18 miles) downstream from the scene of the collision in Budapest, near the Hungarian Parliament building. Only seven people, all South Koreans, were rescued.

All five defendants in the fatal boat crash kept their heads lowered as they were taken from the Warren County Sheriff's Office to the Warren County Five defendants, from left, Cara Mia Canale, Morland Keyes, Kristine Tiger, Alex West and Matthew Marry await arraignments in a fatal boating accident in

The National Weather Service warned Saturday that flooding was imminent, an alert that normally would prompt county and local officials to notify people in low-lying areas.

The Danube stretches some 1,800 miles from Germany to the Black Sea and flows through 10 countries, making it hard to get a complete picture of river traffic and safety.

But a study cofinanced by the European Commission released in April 2018 found that the amount of traffic on the Danube, measured at the German-Austrian border, increased by 89 percent from 2002 to 2017. It also reported that the number of cruise vessels plying the river more than doubled from 2004 to 2017, to 346 ships with 50,616 beds.

Capt. Branislav Vajda, the president of the Association of Professional Carriers of Serbia, said that crowding on the Danube in and around Belgrade, that country’s capital, was so severe, “it is only a matter of time before we have a tragedy of our own to announce.”

As King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy found when he visited Budapest in 1937 and his hosts lit up the majestic Chain Bridge for the first time, the city’s imperial grandeur is at its most magical at night. And the best vantage point for seeing the sights, from Buda Castle to the monumental Parliament building, is the river.

“The government and the oligarchs around the government officials, are always looking for new resources and, in this business, they found one,” said Mr. Demszky, the former mayor.

He said that the current mayor, Istvan Tarlos, an ally of Mr. Orban, was supported by the national government, “so he is not really free to act.” Mr. Tarlos declined to respond to a request for an interview.

Bodies recovered as sunken Danube boat is raised in Hungary

Bodies recovered as sunken Danube boat is raised in Hungary Several bodies have been recovered from a sunken Danube River tour boat that is being raised in Budapest.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary report into the fatal crash involving a self-driving So what went wrong? The NTSB timeline of the fatal crash is as follows The report frames Herzberg’s actions in the moments before the crash in a fairly negative light.

Video shows moments before duck boat sinks. Story highlights. Duck boat had axle that sheared but reason is still being investigated. When the axle broke and whether it was a factor in the fatal crash is unclear. Earl Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board told reporters the 1945 DUKW, or

In the days after the accident, according to people familiar with the tourism industry, scores of boats seemed to disappear as the authorities cracked down on those operating without the proper permits. But many said they believed the moves were only temporary.

Mr. Orban and his Fidesz party have near complete control over the state and have been exerting increasing influence over the private economy, including tourism, one of the most profitable sectors. Mr. Orban’s daughter, Rahel Orban, who has a master’s degree in hospitality management from the private École Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, is an unpaid adviser to the Hungarian Tourism Agency.

In 2016, Mr. Orban earmarked more than $3 billion in public funds for tourism ventures across Hungary up to 2030, including a $1 billion resort complex near Lake Balaton. Ms. Orban’s husband, Istvan Tiborcz, has come under criticism for his stake in the development. A Reuters investigation published in 2018 found that Mr. Tiborcz “stands to collect almost half of any profits from a venture which acquired the resort’s biggest hotel.”

The Hungarian Tourism Agency, which manages all tourism-related projects, including those funded by the European Union, is overseen by the Prime Minister’s Office and co-owns the slips for international ships along the Budapest stretch of the Danube.

“The authorities should examine whether business considerations unduly overruled expert opinions that the increased hotel boat traffic on the Danube River in Budapest may cause serious accidents,” said Miklos Ligeti, legal director for the public information advocacy group Transparency International in Hungary. “If this can be established, there is a serious indication of gross negligence which should be prosecuted.”

Budapest tourist boat lifted out of Danube, with four bodies recovered

Budapest tourist boat lifted out of Danube, with four bodies recovered Four bodies have been recovered from the sightseeing tourist boat which collided with a larger vessel and sank in Budapest two weeks ago, as it was finally lifted out of the River Danube on Tuesday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The wreck will now be taken to an island in the river for further investigation by city authorities, a media officer for Hungary's Counter Terrorism Center (TEK) said.

Weeks before the recent fatal helicopter crash in New York City’s East River, FlyNYON was warned of safety issues with the harnesses and emergency cutters it was providing to passengers on its “doors-off” photo flights, internal The pilots obviously knew the dangers but their concerns went unheeded .

Please read the rules before joining the discussion. The crash occurred two days after the three barges were moored just south of Piermont, N.Y John's lawyer, James Mercante, has argued Hudson River boaters had complained about the lack of lighting on the barges prior to the fatal crash and the

Officials from Viking Cruises declined to answer questions about overcrowding on the river, but industry officials noted that river cruise ships remain among the safest modes of travel, with a record better even than the airline industry.

Zsolt Varga, head of the Hungarian Federation of Passenger Fleet Operators, said he did not believe that the recent tragedy was the result of overcrowding.

“Those two boats could have been the only boats on the Danube at that time and this still could have happened,” he said.

Still, he acknowledged that there was concern about coordination between local boats and the larger cruise ships. That is why, he said, a new rule was instituted last year requiring ships doing a sightseeing loop in Budapest to travel past the Arpad Bridge in the north and Rakoczi Bridge in the south before making turns.

David Szekeres, a 47-year-old boat captain who trains skippers with his Gabriella Sailing company, said navigating around Budapest presented specific challenges, including jetties unmarked on maps and navigation markers in the wrong places. Within the city, the Danube rises and falls as much as eight meters — more than in other cities, where dams and levees regulate the flow. When the river is running high and fast, it carries all sorts of debris, and leaves little room for error passing under bridges.

Not all those at the helm are up to the task, Mr. Szekeres said, in part because the licensing process has been weakened.

For instance, he said that the test for a pilot license for boats under 20 feet changed in 2013, when a former government official took over a company that trained pilots for the written part of the exam.

“You don’t have to learn anything about sailing,” he said. “You just have to learn the exact answers to pass the test.”

It was near the Margaret Bridge that the accident took place.

As the Viking ship bore down on the Mermaid from behind, investigators said, there was no radio communication between them. No warning horn was sounded.

The inquiry has been hampered by treacherous currents and poor underwater visibility. The Viking ship left Budapest for Passau, Germany, less than two days after the fatal collision.

Gyorgy Magyar, a Hungarian lawyer representing the family of the Hungarian crewman aboard the Mermaid, said it was wrong for the authorities to allow the Viking to depart from Budapest so soon after the accident.

“That vessel was involved in an accident and it is evidence that shouldn’t be released until the professional and all-encompassing investigation has concluded,” he said. Letting it leave means “the evidence has been tampered with,” he added.

Some clues as to the cause of the crash might be revealed now that the Mermaid has been recovered from the riverbed. But whatever investigators find, it will not change what people who know the Danube have long said is the basic problem.

“For me, it is overcrowded,” Mr. Szekeres said.

“And now, you have these really big cruise ships doing sightseeing tours, and they are just too big,” he added. “They should not be doing this. Especially at night.”

Alisa Dogramadzieva contributed reporting from Belgrade, Serbia.

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