A crew member has been found dead and another person is missing after the cargo ship they were on capsized following a collision with another vessel in the Baltic Sea.
Reuters reports the ships crashed into one another at 3:30 a.m. local time on Monday, December 13. The 55-meter (180 ft) long Karin Hoj from Denmark collided with the 90 m (298 ft) Scot Carrier from Britain. The two boats were sailing in dark, foggy conditions when they collided off the island of Bornholm, Denmark. The Karin Hoj capsized following the impact and its two crew members were declared missing.
The rescue operation saw a helicopter and nine boats search the waters around the site of the collision. The Karin Hoj was also towed to shallow waters where Swedish divers could safely search the hull of the ship.
During a search of the vessel divers located one of the ship’s crew members, who was pronounced dead. The crew member has not yet been named by authorities.
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From the Reuters report:
“It is impossible to survive for long without protective gear in the sea temperatures of around 4 Celsius [39F], but there had been hope the pair might be alive inside an air pocket within the hull.
“However, the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) and police said one person was found dead on the boat, while the other was still missing.”
While Reuters confirmed the ships did collide in foggy conditions, a local meteorological organization said conditions were “not unusual for the time of year.”
As such, the Swedish Prosecution Authority (SPA) has launched an investigation into the incident. The SPA is looking into several suspected crimes, including gross negligence in maritime traffic, causing death through negligence and marine intoxication.
The Reuters story added that two suspects had been taken into custody, one British and one Croatian.
Before the crash, both vessels had been sailing in the same direction across the Baltic Sea. The Karin Hoj was sailing from Sodertalje in Sweden to Nykobing Falster in southern Denmark, while the Scot Carrier was sailing to Montrose on Scotland’s east coast.
The Swedish Maritime Administration said the Danish boat was empty at the time of the incident, and it was unclear what, if anything, the Scot Carrier was carrying.