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Sailors and rescuers commemorated victims of the Danube river

A MEMORIAL feast, commemorating the sailors, shipmasters and other workers who died in an accident during their work on ships sailing the Danube river – as well other rivers – took place on December 5, on the eve of the day of St Nicolaus, patron-saint of sailors.

(Source: Sme - Vladimír Šimíček.)

A MEMORIAL feast, commemorating the sailors, shipmasters and other workers who died in an accident during their work on ships sailing the Danube river – as well other rivers – took place on December 5, on the eve of the day of St Nicolaus, patron-saint of sailors.

The memorial feast, taking place on the Danube bank in the Bratislava harbour, was attended by sailors and river rescuers alike, laying wreaths and holding a symbolic minute of silence.

Chair of the Transport Office Ján Breja told the TASR newswire that they came to gather as people whose lives are connected with shipping and with the Danube. “We meet at the local memorial commemorating the victims to become better aware of the bond which connects us,” Breja said.

Since World War II, a total of 16 people have died on the Danube and other rivers, who were connected with the Bratislava harbour. The most catastrophic case was the accident of the Ďumbier towboat near the unfinished dam of the hydropower plant Freudenau close to Vienna, where nearly the whole crew drowned in the raging Danube – 12 sailors. On October 22, 1996 shortly before 20:00, the tugboat Ďumbier with a ship carrying 750 tonnes of bone-meal missed the channel leading to the lock chamber and the strong current drove it to the overflow weir that regulates the amount of water. There, the ship loaded with cargo got caught on the walls of the second and third water-gates, while the push-boat with the crew was pulled by the current through the fourth water-gate. Only one crew member survived, while 12 died in the accident.

This year, no one has died in a shipping accident.

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