When cargo ships collide offshore Sweden, one person is dead and one is missing


Two cargo ships collided in the Baltic Sea off southern Sweden, killing one person and missing another on Monday. One of the ships capsized and was towed towards a Swedish port, the authorities said. Two people were arrested as suspects.

The maritime administration said it received an alert before dawn Monday that two cargo ships south of Ystad in Sweden had collided near the Danish island of Bornholm.

The British <a class=cargo ship Scot Carrier can be seen on the right after it collided in the Baltic Sea with a Danish cargo ship Karin Hoej, which capsized in the background.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

Johan Nilsson / AP

The British cargo ship Scot Carrier can be seen on the right after it collided in the Baltic Sea with a Danish cargo ship Karin Hoej, which capsized in the background.

The authorities identified the ships as the Danish flag Karin Hoej and a British ship, the Scot Carrier. The Danish ship capsized completely and drifted upside down.

At least 11 boats and ships, an airplane and a helicopter were looking for the missing crew members, but the Swedish Maritime Administration said it ceased operations on Monday without finding the couple. A body was later found inside the capsized Danish ship, it said.

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The capsized ship was towed closer to shore so that divers from the Swedish Armed Forces and the Coast Guard could search it, among other things. The police also want to take over the case and investigate the ship.

A lifeboat steers the overturned Danish cargo ship Karin Hoej, on the right, after it collided with a British cargo ship.

Johan Nilsson / AP

A lifeboat steers the overturned Danish cargo ship Karin Hoej, on the right, after it collided with a British cargo ship.

Despite the fog in the area at this time, the cause of the collision was still unclear, said the Swedish shipping authority.

“We have no idea when the work can be finished,” said the maritime agency.

Swedish Coast Guard Prosecutor Jonatan Tholin said prosecutors had opened a preliminary investigation into possible charges of gross negligence in maritime transport and “gross sea drunkenness”.

Prosecutors said a British national born in 1991 and a Croat born in 1965 were arrested in the case, which includes the death of another person following the collision. Their names were not published.

Coast Guard spokesman Valdemar Lindekrantz told Sweden’s TV4 that “we suspect parts of the British crew were not sober”.

The British cargo ship Scot Carrier can be seen on the left after it collided with a Danish cargo ship Karin Hoej.

Johan Nilsson / AP

The British cargo ship Scot Carrier can be seen on the left after it collided with a Danish cargo ship Karin Hoej.

According to the MarineTraffic website, the Scot Carrier was en route from Salacgriva in Latvia to Montrose in Scotland, while the Karin Hoej Sodertalje in Sweden had left for Nykoebing Falster in Denmark.

TV4 reported that oil had started flowing into the water. However, the Swedish Coast Guard said there were no ongoing spills and they were working to “prevent oil or other harmful substances from entering the sea”.

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