Remembering the Danube Tourist Boat Collision
Photographer: Zoltan Balogh
The Hableany sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean tourists and two Hungarian staff crashed into the Viking Sigyn large river cruise ship and sank in the River Danube on 29 May 2019. Only seven tourists were rescued after the collision, with the rest of the passengers perishing in the frigid waters of the flowing river.
The tragic loss of life triggered a powerful and immediate response from members of Hungary’s security and emergency response units, many of whom raced to help the stricken boats and drowning passengers.
Dozens of people, including firefighters, marines, soldiers and police, as well as civilian boat operators and employees from nearby vessels, describe in intimate detail the harrowing rescue operation to save the victims of a tragedy that unfolded in the heart of one of Europe’s busiest capital cities, the massive scale of the salvage operation that followed and how they toiled in both physically and emotionally extreme conditions.