Sunken tourist boat being readied for raising

Hungarian salvage crews were preparing on Monday June 10th to raise the wreck of the tourist boat that that capsized on May 29th on the River Danube in central Budapest, killing 26 South Korean tourists and two local crew.

Divers were inserting straps under the wreck so that a floating crane could lift it, possibly starting on Tuesday morning, said South Korean Embassy defence attaché Song Shun-Keun.

Song expressed concern that the ship might break up, or that bodies could be dislodged. “Therefore, Hungarian experts are spending  a lot of time figuring out how to lift the ship in a good balanced position,” he said.

Hungarian special forces spokesman Nandor Jasenszky told Reuters that divers had fixed three of the four straps needed, but were having problems with the fourth one under the boat.

The Hableany/Mermaid sank after being struck by inland marine cruise ship Viking Signy while both vessels were attempting to pass under the Magrit (Margaret) Bridge during heavy rain and in fast-moving water.

Bodies of all but eight of the victims have been recovered.