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Legal analysis of Hungary tourist boat sinking Updated: 2019-06-11 17:02:59 KST

The ill-fated tourist boat that sank on the Danube river in Budapest last month finally emerged to surface today, two weeks after the accident.
The stern of the boat was badly damaged, and four bodies were found at different locations inside the boat, three of whom are presumed to be South Koreans.
This, while an investigation is ongoing on the captain of the cruise ship, the Viking Sigyn, that collided with the boat and caused it to sink.
Today we go in-depth on the latest developments of the salvage operation and the remaining legal issues of the investigation.
For that Dr. KIM In-hyeon, a captain and a professor at Korea University School of law now joins me in the studio.


1. The tourist boat finally emerged to surface 13 days after it sank on the Danube after colliding with a bigger cruise ship. What took so long to salgave the boat and how did you see the lifting operations today?

2. What do you think are some of the remaining procedures to follow after the boat is completely salvaged?

3. I understand you were a captain yourself, and you have specialized in maritime law. What do you think was the main cause of the accident from your perspective?

4. Who can we say is legally responsible for the accident at this point? Or are there multiple individuals, or parties that have legal liability?

5. Hungarian authorities are holding in custody the Ukrainian captain of the Viking Sigyn that collided with the tour boat. Could you explain to us what kind of charges the captain is facing, and on what grounds?

6. Through videos released after the accident, we later learned that the Viking Sigyn returned to the accident site but didn't make any rescue efforts. According to the Korean law, the captain could face a life sentence for that. Do you think the videos will be a big factor in the ruling process?

7. The captain was previously involved in a boat collision in the Netherlands in April, according to Hungary's prosecutors. Could this be an important factor in the investigation?

8. The captain continues to deny all charges against him, demanding a bail. While the captain was found to have deleted data from his phone between the time of the Budapest collision and the authorities’ seizure of his phone, do you think he can be granted a bail?

9. The Hungarian prosecution has the investigative rights but since most of the victims are South Koreans, could there be a possibility of a joint investigation between the South Korean and Hungarian prosecutions?

10. Following the deadly accident, many have raised the point that traffic on the Danube River especially during the night time is almost life-threatening. Could you tell us what kind of laws are applied on ferries operating on rivers?

11. If the bereaved families of the South Korean victims decide to claim for damages, who should answer the claims? Is it the travel agency or the tourist boat company or the cruise ship operator?

12. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha visited the site on the third day since the night of the accident. What's your assessment of our government's initial response, as well as the efforts made as days progressed?

13. Is there a message you'd like to convey to our viewers before you go regarding this tragic accident?
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