Two Crewmembers Dead After Bridge Collision on the Danube. Our Maritime Attorney Asks Cruise Lines to Put Safety First

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

map of budapest areaWhen you hear the words “cruise ship,” you may immediately imagine sunny beaches and Caribbean breezes. After all, many people do choose to go to warmer climates to relax and recharge during their vacations. However, there are countless rivers and bodies of water to explore around the world! And you should, by no means, feel obligated to take a tropical cruise if you are really more interested in another destination.

Take Europe, for example. With history that stretches back for centuries and a wide array of cultures to absorb, a cruise through or around a few European capitals may be just what you desire. Whether your ideal voyage involves sunning yourself in the Mediterranean or sightseeing along the Rhine, you are in for an enjoyable time.

However, as a maritime law firm with over 100 years of combined experience, we know that accidents and injuries can happen anywhere in the world. Having successfully handled over 2,000 cases, and having served clients nationwide and internationally, we are capable of helping individuals and families recover after tragedy.

A recent story out of Germany reminds us that unexpected maritime accidents can happen, wherever you are.

On Sunday, September 11, 2016, a cruise ship on the Danube River hit a rail bridge in southern Germany. The ship, the Viking Freya, was en route from the German town of Erlangen to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Two crewmembers died as a result of the collision.

One of the deceased, a 49-year-old, was steering the vessel at the time of the accident. The other was a 33-year-old sailor. Both men were Hungarian citizens. At the time of this post, the names of the victims have not yet been released. However, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of both men, during this difficult time.

Viking Can Prevent Future Accidents

Although no other passengers were injured during the accident, we cannot help but to mourn the unnecessary loss of life that occurred. An event like this always leaves us wondering, how could the cruise line prevent this from happening in the future?

With a police investigation underway, we hope that the findings will shed light on how this tragic accident occurred. However, a police spokesman has reported that the cause of the incident may have been that the retractable wheelhouse was not lowered.

Once an official cause is confirmed, we hope that Viking will take the time to address the issue to prevent future loss of life. Whether that requires retraining crewmembers or updating out-of-date cruise vessels, it is up to the cruise line to take responsibility so that all passengers—vacationers and crewmembers alike—can rest assured that their safety is not in jeopardy.

Our Team Can Help

Ultimately, everyone on board a cruise places their wellbeing in the hands of their cruise line. So when an injury or death occurs, we look to the cruise line to step up and do its part to improve the situation, for those involved and for all future passengers.

Addressing issues of maritime injury or death is often complex and overwhelming. Having an experienced maritime attorney by your side can make your case more manageable. So, if you have been injured or impacted by an accident at sea, you do not have to handle your case alone. When you contact us, we’ll be happy to set up an initial consultation. We’ll listen to your story and help you move forward with your life.