Viking Sigyn accidents and incidents

Viking Sigyn cruise ship


Length (LOA)
135 m / 443 ft

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CruiseMapper's Viking Sigyn cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 190-passenger vessel owned by Viking Cruises. Our Viking Sigyn accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • ship collision - 2019 (with a tour boat in Budapest Hungary, 28 deaths)

29 May 2019Ship Collision / Allision

In the evening of May 29, 2019, during a storm (torrential rain) in homeport Budapest (Hungary), the Viking longship Sigyn collided with and sank a small tour boat carrying 35 people. Viking Cruises' ship collided with an 89-ft (27-m) long sightseeing boat Hableany  (translated Mermaid) on Danube River near Budapest's Parliament building. The ship crashed into the boat from behind, before the small vessel spun sideways on impact, then capsized and sunk in just 7 seconds.

The tour boat Hableany (MMSI 243070620, max capacity 60, sightseeing cruise capacity 45) was operated by Panorama Boat Company.

No injuries or damages were reported on the Viking longship. All the 35 people on the tour boat (33x South Korean tourists plus 2x Hungarian guides) were without life jackets.

The small boat was passing under Margit Bridge when the larger (442-ft / 135-m long) Viking ship clipped her stern and spun it.

Initially were announced 7 dead and 21 missing South Koreans (including a 6-year-old girl and a 72-year-old man). Seven tourists (in stable conditions) were ambulanced to a hospital. They were suffering from hypothermia as the river's water temperature was ~10 C (50 F). Three dead bodies were soon found approx 3 km /2 mi from the crash scene.

South Korea sent its own rescue teams to Budapest to support the search-and-rescue operations.

  • On May 39th, from the river were recovered 7 bodies, while 21 people (19 tourists + 2 crew) remained missing. 
  • On June 3rd, the Korean divers conducted their first operation and recovered an 8th body. On the same day, the police in Harta found the 9th body (approx 110 km/68 mi downstream from Budapest).
  • During June 4th's diving operation, from the wreck were recovered two bodies. The 11th body was found in Kulcs (~75 km/47 mi downstream from Budapest) while the 12th body was found in Adony (~63 km/39 mi downstream from Budapest).
  • On June 5th, from the week was recovered the 13th body while the 14th one was retrieved from the river and another body was found in Ercsi (~46 km/29 mi downstream from Budapest).
  • On June 6th were found 3 bodies - two in Budapest's waters (near Rakoczi Bridge and Liberty Bridge) plus one in Erd (~15 km/9 mi downstream from Budapest).
  • On June 8th, a body was found in Szazhalombatta (~38 km/24 mi downstream from Budapest).
  • On June 9th were discovered two more bodies, while 8 people (7 tourists + the boat's Captain) remained missing.
  • On June 12th from the water (between the villages Bolcske and Madocsa) was recovered another body.
  • On June 22nd, another body was recovered from Danube near Csepel Island.
  • On July 5th, another body was found in Makad (~59 km/37 mi downstream from Budapest).

The Hungarian police started a criminal investigation into the accident. Among the questioned was Sigyn ship's Master - Captain Yuriy Chaplinsky (64-year-old Ukrainian, from Odessa). He was arrested on June 1st and charged with "reckless misconduct in waterborne traffic leading to mass casualties" as well as with "35 counts of failure to provide assistance". On June 13th, he was released from custody after a Hungarian court granted him bail (set at EUR 45800 / USD 53000).

The accident resulted in a total of 27 confirmed deaths (25 Korean tourists plus 2 crew/the Hungarian tour guides) and 7 rescued/injured. One tourist still remains missing/presumed dead.

On June 8th, the police's first press release stated that the boat's Captain was not responsible for the collision, and actually tried to avoid it, based upon the rudder's position.

On June 11th was started the salvage with the floating crane Clark Ádam (1980-built, MMSI 243071116) which has max lift capacity of 200 tons. The sunken boat was raised from waters (under Margit Bridge) at ~ 7 am Hungary time (~5 am UTC) just ~30 minutes into the salvage operation. Two divers soon discovered the body of the boat's Captain. Four more bodies (Koreans) were found In the wreck by 8:30 am (6:30 UTC), including the 6-year-old Korean girl. The tour boat was loaded on a cargo barge and transported to Csepel Island for further examination.

(update) On September 26, 2023, a Hungarian Court sentenced Yuriy Chaplinsky to 5,5 years (66 months) in jail. Judge Leona Nemeth found him guilty of "endangering water transport leading to a deadly mass accident". He was also acquitted of "failing to provide assistance".

Chaplinsky remained in police custody until the court case started (March 2020), giving his account of the events in June and September.

and under house arrest for ~ 3 years (2020 through 2023). The already served time was counted toward the jail sentence.

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