Two dead after river cruise ship hits a bridge in Germany
Yachting Boating World: Two crew died after the wheelhouse of the Viking Freya hit a bridge in the city of Erlangen, Germany in the early hours of 11 September.
A police spokesman is reported as saying that the retractable wheelhouse may not have been lowered in time.
The Viking Freya was leaving Erlangen along the Main-Danube Canal when the accident happened.
It was on its way to the Hungarian capital, Budapest. Around 230 people are reported to have been on board. The wheelhouse was crushed in the impact with the bridge.
The two crew members killed were a 33-year-old sailor and a 49-year-old who was helming. No-one else was injured in the incident.
In a statement, Viking River Cruises said the families of the two men were in their “thoughts and prayers”.
“Viking Freya experienced an accident in Erlangen, Germany early Sunday morning.
“Viking Freya’s wheelhouse collided with the bridge in Erlangen.
“Two crew members of the ship were in the wheelhouse and died as a result of injuries sustained during the collision.
“No other crew members or guests were injured, and all guests have been transported to local hotels.
“We are heartbroken, and company executives are on the scene to work closely with local authorities to understand the details of the accident. Viking Freya had embarked on its September 10 sailing and will now be moved for repairs.
“Guests on this sailing may continue on their journey with a modified itinerary, embarking on Viking Bestla in Passau. Or, they may return home as soon as possible.
“Guests currently booked on Viking Freya sailings for the remainder of 2016 will now sail on Viking Bestla, a sister ship that is virtually identical.
“Guests on these sailings will be contacted directly by a Viking Customer Relations representative or their travel agent. The families of our crew members are in our thoughts and prayers,” concluded the statement.