Two arrested after UK boat’s fatal collision off Sweden

Two people have been arrested after a fatal collision between a British and Danish cargo ship in Swedish waters. 

A British citizen and a Croatian citizen are being investigated on potential charges of causing the death of another person, gross negligence in maritime traffic and “gross drunkenness” at sea, according to Swedish public broadcaster SVT

A major rescue mission was launched on Monday morning after the Danish-flagged Karin Hoej capsized following a collision with the larger MV Scot Carrier, which sails under the UK flag. 

Around 3pm on Monday, the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) confirmed that a body had been found in the Karin Hoej. The second crew member remains missing at sea. 

MV Scot Carrier was reportedly sailing from Hargshamn north of Stockholm, to Montrose on Scotland’s east coast at the time of the incident, which occurred in the Baltic Sea between the Swedish city of Ystad and the Danish island of Bornholm. The 90-metre vessel is operational and all crew are understood to be safe.  

Karin Hoej. Image courtesy of Peter aus Holternau / MarineTraffic.com

Scotline, the Scot Carrier‘s owner, told the BBC that all crew members on the boat were tested for drugs and alcohol “with two crew members exceeding the legal limit”.

Meanwhile, STV reports that a spokesperson for Scotline refused to offer any further comment while an investigation into the collision is ongoing. 

“The master, ship, crew and company are assisting and fully complying with local authorities as required,” a Scotline spokesperson told the broadcaster.

Scot Carrier in 2018. Image courtesy of Twitter

Conditions at the time of the accident were foggy with low visibility, although the circumstances surrounding the accident are still unknown. Screams were heard in the water by rescuers, a spokesperson for the Swedish Maritime Administration told SVT. Water temperature in the area is currently around 4-6 degrees Celsius.

In Sweden, having a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or more on the sea is a criminal offence. Causing death by gross negligence carries a prison sentence of up to six years in the country.

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