British man remanded in custody over fatal ship crash south of Sweden

British man remanded in custody over fatal ship crash south of Sweden
Onlookers watch as the capsized Karin Høj is being salvaged. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
A British sailor is in custody in Sweden after a ship collision this week left one person dead and another missing.

The 30-year-old man was arrested on Monday, suspected of “aggravated drunkenness at sea”, “gross negligence in sea traffic”, and “gross negligence causing death”, after an early morning collision between the British ship “Scot Carrier” and the Danish “Karin Høj.”

A district court on Thursday decided to remand the suspect, who rejects the charges, in custody, the prosecutor in charge of the case, Tomas Olvmyr, told AFP.

Prosecutors now have two weeks to bring charges or request an extension to the detention.

The collision led to the 55-metre Danish boat capsizing and ending up upside down, with the two Danish crew members missing.

After hours of searching, the rescue operation was eventually aborted after rescue divers found the body of one crew member aboard the ship, and hopes of finding the other missing person in the cold waters of the Baltic Sea had faded.

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A Croatian crew member in his 50s was also arrested on suspicion of “aggravated drunkenness at sea”, but was released on Wednesday, though Sweden’s prosecution service said he remained a suspect.

Both men had blood alcohol levels above the Swedish legal limit at the time of the accident, the ship’s owner, British company Scotline, confirmed in a statement.

Following the collision, which occurred early on Monday between the Swedish city of Ystad and the Danish island Bornholm, the first alert was not issued by the crew after the collision, but was instead transmitted by an automatic system on board the Danish ship, which is triggered when areas of the ship that are normally dry become waterlogged.

According to Scotline, the British cargo ship took “under 25 minutes” to return to the scene of the accident “once all crew members had been accounted for and an initial damage assessment completed”, the company said in a statement.

The Karin Høj, which had been towed to shallower waters to facilitate rescue dives, began sinking on Wednesday afternoon. Sweden’s Coast Guard is working to rein in a fuel spill caused by the sinking.


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