Two arrested after cargo ships collide in Baltic Sea

Coastguard officials are investigating whether 'gross sea intoxication' was the cause of the collision

A rescue boat locates the capsized Danish cargo ship 'Karin Hoej' after it collided with British freight vessel 'Scot Carrier' in the Baltic Sea. AP

Two people have been arrested after a deadly collision between a British and Danish vessels south of the Swedish coastline early on Monday morning.

Sweden's prosecution service said in a statement that an investigation into “aggravated drunkenness at sea,” “gross negligence in sea traffic,” and “gross causing of death by negligence” had been opened.

One of those arrested was a British citizen born in 1991, while the other was a Croatian citizen born in 1965.

The Danish ship Karin Hoej capsized after colliding with the UK-registered Scot Carrier in the Baltic Sea, south of Ystad in Sweden and near the Danish island of Bornholm.

Shortly after 3pm local time authorities decided to cancel a rescue operation after divers found a body in the wreck. Another person was still missing.

While there had been speculation that poor visibility was to blame, the Danish Meteorological Institute said the fog was not dense and such conditions were “not unusual” at this time of year.

The 55-metre Karin Hoej was upside down, the Swedish Maritime Administration said on Monday morning. It is believed it had two people on board.

The 90-metre Scot Carrier was still functional and its crew were safe.

“I can confirm an accident has happened but I do not know the circumstances,” said Soren Hoj, managing director of the shipping company Rederiet Hoj which owns the Karin Hoej.

The Karin Hoej was later towed away in waters full of wreckage.

Denmark’s meteorological institute said the temperature in the water was 4-6°C.

It is believed the Scot Carrier was heading from Salacgriva in Latvia to Montrose in Scotland, while the Karin Hoej had left Sodertalje in Sweden for Nykoebing Falster in Denmark.

Updated: December 13th 2021, 4:35 PM