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Budapest shipwreck: captain of the cruise ship involved in the collision is arrested

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By Shea Lawrence
Budapest shipwreck: captain of the cruise ship involved in the collision is arrested
Copyright  REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Detained since Thursday, Mr. Yuriy has now been arrested by Hungarian police under suspicion of endangering water transport.

He appeared in court today for a hearing where he denied wrongdoing. His lawyer said there were not enough established facts to validate a case against him:

"The essence of our defense is that he had not made a navigation mistake. Obviously, he gave a detailed statement as a witness earlier and he maintains that now too. In my view there is a lot of data missing from this procedure in order to establish who had made a mistake and to what extent."

The collision took place on Wednesday near the Hungarian parliament building when a Viking vessel rammed into a small sightseeing boat of 33 people. Once hit, the boat sank within 7 seconds.

Seven people have been confirmed dead and 21 are still missing, the majority of victims are from South Korea. Authorities have not yet recovered the boat stating strong currents and murky waters are making it impossible to get access to it.

The Ministry of Interior said some 60 experts were experimenting to find a "unique" method to salvage the sunken tour boat and rescue any bodies trapped inside.

Authorities have predicted it will take an extended search to find the remaining missing people. It could also take days to recover the 70-year-old boat which was built in the former Soviet Union.

Specialists from South Korea and Austria are assisting in the salvage efforts.