KEY POINTS

  • Cruise ship’s captain accused in the Danube boat crash rearrested
  • Hungarian prosecutors suspected the captain may flee
  • Nile river cruise is back in demand

The boat crash in the Danube River in May involving a cruise ship that killed 28 people has led to the re-arrest of the cruise ship captain.

Hungarian prosecutors said on Monday the arrest followed concerns that the captain may flee before the trial. The investigation ended in October and charges were framed in November.

The May collision at night happened near the Margit Bridge of Budapest close to the Parliament building. 

Yuriy C identified as captain of Viking Sigyn cruise ship was out on bail since October. But he had to wear a mandatory electronic tracking device and had no permission to leave his residence without prior consent.

The decision of the Pest Central District Court can be appealed, reports the Associated Press.

The 64-year-old captain was charged with negligent endangerment of water traffic and evasion of responsibility for assisting the victims. Prosecutors have sought nine-year imprisonment for the captain.

In the gruesome accident, only seven survived that had 33 South Korean tourists on the Hableany (Mermaid) boat on a sight-seeing mission. 

Two of the Hungarian crew were also killed. Many bodies were recovered weeks after the crash that too 100 kilometers downstream. The Danube is Europe's second-longest river. 

A missing female South Korean tourist’s body is yet to be traced.

According to BBC News, the cruise ship struck the Mermaid boat around 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT) on May 29 when both vessels were passing under the Margaret Bridge. The boat sank within seven seconds after the collision.

Rescue operations saved seven people. “The current was so fast and people were floating away,” one survivor told South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

It was the worst disaster on the Danube in more than 50 years.

Nile cruise in big demand

Meanwhile, reports said Nile River cruise is back in big demand after recovering from the slump that followed the Arab Spring uprisings of 2010 and incidents of terror attacks. 

Egyptian tourism is on a revival path and the river cruise is also picking up. 

According to Patricia Shultz, author of the best-seller, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” Nile cruise is exotic and makes a deeper appeal in the minds of travelers.  GettyImages-Cruise Ship The Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Sky cruise ship sails out of its port on October 12, 2018 in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Many cruise lines such as Avalon Waterways and CroisiEurope have decided to resume cruise deals in the Nile in 2020, reports Cruise Critic.

Other river cruise companies including Uniworld, Viking, and Emerald Waterways are planning to expand passenger capacity. Viking will be launching a new ship Viking Osiris, in 2020. A good chunk of the Nile travelers are Americans, the report said.