Hungary Wreck: A Unique Solution is Being Sought

Credit: TEK

Hungary’s Director General of the Counter-Terrorism Centre (TEK), János Hajdu, has been tasked with bringing the wreck of the boat that sank in Budapest on May 29 to the surface. He is leading a group of around 60 experts, from Hungary and overseas in efforts to determine a plan of action.

The Hableány (Mermaid), a 27-meter (89-foot) double-decker tourist ship, collided with a Viking Cruises luxury cruiser, the 135-meter (443-foot) Viking Sigyn. The smaller tourist ship sank quickly, and the wreck was found on the bed of the river close to one of the pillars of Margaret Bridge. Seven passengers have been confirmed dead and another 21 are missing, mostly South Koreans.

Flood waters in the Danube have made it impossible for divers to reach the wreck. The TEK is continuing to search for a safe solution for bringing the boat or people assumed to be trapped inside to the surface after a first attempt saw a rescue diver washed away and needing to be rescued. A unique solution is being sought, say the experts involved. The rescuers face high and continuously rising water levels, extremely strong currents and zero underwater visibility. The possibilities are being examined using model experiments and practical test dives.