Two missing after cargo ships collide in Baltic fog

Two people are missing after a British and Danish cargo ship collided in foggy conditions in Swedish waters. 

Swedish public broadcaster SVT reports that a major rescue operation is currently underway following the incident, which occurred overnight in the Baltic Sea between the Swedish city of Ystad and the Danish island of Bornholm. 

The 55-metre Danish-flagged Karin Hoej capsized, the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) reports. Two people, both Danish citizens, were on board. 

The 90-metre British-flagged Scot Carrier was operational and all crew are reported safe. 

Reuters reports that MV Scot Carrier was sailing from Hargshamn north of Stockholm, to Montrose on Scotland’s east coast. Its owner Scotline tells Reuters it could not comment on details of the incident but is assisting local authorities.

Danish-registered Karin Hoej | Image courtesy of Peter aus Holternau / MarineTraffic.com

Screams have been heard in the water by rescuers, Jonas Franzen, communications manager at the Swedish Maritime Administration, told SVT. Water temperature in the area is around 4-6 degrees Celsius.

Conditions at the time of the accident were foggy with low visibility, although the circumstances surrounding the accident are still unknown. “We do not know exactly how it happened,” Franzen adds.

Rescuers on the scene | Image courtesy of Johan Mårtensson / Swedish Sea Rescue Society

SVT reports an automatic emergency alarm from one of the ships was triggered at 3.30am Swedish time. 

A preliminary investigation regarding gross negligence in maritime traffic has been initiated, according to the Swedish Coast Guard.

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