Two crewmen missing after Danish and British boats collide in icy Baltic

Cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea
Image: The Danish freighter Karin Hoej capsized after colliding with the British freighter Scot Carrier, between Ystad and Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea on December 13, 2021. TT News Agency / Johan Nilsson via REUTERS

December 13, 2021

By Anna Ringstrom and Nikolaj Skydsgaard

STOCKHOLM/COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Two Danish crew members of a capsized barge went missing in the frozen Baltic on Monday after an overnight collision with a British vessel on a shipping lane crowded off the coast of Sweden.

With the pair unable to survive long in water temperatures of around 4 degrees Celsius, lifeboats and a helicopter hunted for hours. There was also hope that they could still be inside an airbag inside the hull of the overturned Karin Hoj.

Maritime authorities in Denmark and Sweden said the 55-metre Danish barge and the 90-metre Scot Carrier were sailing in the same direction off Bornholm island when they crashed in fog and darkness at 3:30 a.m. (02:30 GMT), maritime authorities in Denmark and Sweden said.

At least nine boats and a helicopter have entered the waters near the wreck, while the overturned Karin Hoj has been towed to shallower water, where Swedish divers are ready to investigate the wreck. vessel without the risk of being towed.

Denmark’s Joint Operations Center (JOC) said it was still possible that the pair of planes were inside an airbag.

The Danish Meteorological Institute said the fog was not dense and the conditions were not unusual for the time of year. Sweden’s coast guard said an investigation was looking into the possibility of “serious negligence” behind the disaster.

With events seemingly moving quickly, the JOC said there was no sign of lifeboats or other emergency equipment being used by Karin Hoj’s two-man crew.

Sweden’s National Health and Welfare Commission says people usually cannot survive more than an hour without protective gear in frigid waters.


Soren Hoj, chief executive officer of Rederiet Hoj, which owns Karin Hoj, told Reuters: “I can confirm an accident happened but I don’t know the circumstances.

The barge was traveling from Sodertalje in Sweden to Nykobing Falster in southern Denmark.

According to Refinitiv Eikon data, the British-registered Scot Carrier is sailing to Montrose on the east coast of Scotland.

It is operating under its own power and its crew is safe from the crash.

Danish authorities say the captain of the Scot Carrier has been tested for alcohol as standard procedure and will be handed over to Swedish police.

Its owner Scotline said it could not comment on details but was assisting local authorities.

The Swedish Maritime Authority (SMA) said the Danish ship was empty and it was not clear what the British vessel was carrying.

The sea between Sweden and Denmark has a large amount of maritime traffic. Collisions are very rare in 2006, a small Danish vessel sank after colliding with a Swedish boat, with all the crew saved from overswimming. .

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, Niklas Pollard and Johan Ahlander in Stockholm, Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Copenhagen; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Jon Boyle) Two crewmen missing after Danish and British boats collide in icy Baltic


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