Crew member found dead after Danish and British ships collide in Baltic Sea


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  • Ships collided off Sweden in fog overnight
  • Two crew members were on a capsized Danish freight barge
  • A dead man found in the hull of Karin Hoj
  • Criminal investigation opened, British and Croatian nationals in detention
  • Accident site:

STOCKHOLM / COPENHAGEN, December 13 (Reuters) – One of the two Danish crew members missing from a capsized barge was found dead in the hull after a nighttime collision with a British freighter on a busy sea route on Monday Baltic Sea off Sweden.

The 55-meter barge Karin Hoj and the 90-meter Scot Carrier were sailing in the same direction off Bornholm Island when they crashed in the fog and darkness at 3:30 a.m. (02:30 GMT), the officials said. Danish and Swedish shipping agencies.

At least nine boats and a helicopter combed the waters near the wrecked site, while the overturned Karin Hoj was towed to shallower water so that Swedish divers could investigate the hull without the risk of be dragged down.

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It is impossible to survive for long without protective gear in sea temperatures of around 4 degrees Celsius, but it was hoped that the pair would be alive inside an air pocket inside the shell.

However, the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) and police said one person was found dead on the boat, while the other was still missing.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Although there was fog at the time of the crash, the Danish Meteorological Institute said it was not dense and conditions were not unusual for the time of year.

British freighter Scot Carrier is pictured after colliding with Danish freighter Karin Hoej between Ystad and Bornholm on the Baltic Sea on December 13, 2021. TT News Agency / Johan Nilsson via REUTERS

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The Swedish public prosecutor’s office said in a statement that a preliminary investigation was underway into several alleged crimes: gross negligence in maritime traffic, causing death by negligence, and marine poisoning.

He said two suspects, a British and a Croat, had been taken into custody and that he could not provide further details due to the preliminary nature of the investigation.

With events appearing to have unfolded quickly, the Danish Defense Joint Operations Center (JOC) said there was no sign of lifeboats or other emergency equipment being used by the two-person crew of the Karin Hoj.

“I can confirm that an accident has occurred but I do not know the circumstances,” Soren Hoj, managing director of Rederiet Hoj, owner of the Karin Hoj, told Reuters.

The barge sailed from Sodertalje in Sweden to Nykobing Falster in southern Denmark, while the Scot Carrier sailed to Montrose on the east coast of Scotland.

British shipowner Scotline said he could not comment on the details but was helping local authorities.

The ADM said the Danish vessel was empty of all cargo and it was not clear what the British vessel was carrying.

The waters between Sweden and Denmark know a lot of maritime traffic. Collisions are rare but in 2006 a small Danish ship sank after an accident with a Swedish boat, and the entire crew were saved alive after jumping overboard.

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Additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom, Niklas Pollard and Johan Ahlander in Stockholm, Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Copenhagen; Written by Andrew Cawthorne, Stine Jacobsen and Niklas Pollard; Editing by Jon Boyle and Andrew Cawthorne

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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