30 May 2023
Collision: Officer in prison after 2 crew found dead
A Danish cargo ship capsized in Baltic Sea collision leaving two dead crew members and one sentenced to prison time and ban from sailing.
The 4,800DWT Scot Carrier was en route from Latvia to Scotland when it rammed into the 492-ton Karin Høj off the Swedish coast and the Danish island of Bornholm on December 13. The latter capsized almost immediately with two crew members on board. One of which, found dead aboard the ship, while the other remains missing and considered dead.
Particularly, the incident took place at 3.30 AM local time. Apparently, rescue vessels and helicopters had failed to locate the missing crewmembers. Reportedly, people could hear screams from the water before the Swedish Maritime Administration ended their search operation at 10.30 AM.
The Swedish Coast Guard, in conjunction with the Sea Rescue Society, towed the capsized ship closer to land in order to resume the search for missing persons and any possible survivors. The towing intentions were also to prevent possible sinking and minimize the risks of an oil spill.
At the time, the Swedish prosecutors initiated a preliminary investigation into gross negligence in maritime traffic during the morning.
Note that, the unladen Karin Høj, was sailing from Sodertalje (Sweden) to Nykobing Falster (Denmark) with two people on board. The Scot Carrier was en route to Montrose, Scotland, and its crew has been reportedly safe.
The Swedish Prosecution Authority investigated several suspected crimes. This includes drunkenness at sea, negligence in maritime traffic and causing death through negligence. A 30-year-old British citizen is a suspect of all three charges, while a 56-year-old Croatian citizen was under suspicion of ‘gross sea drunkenness’.
The 30-year-old officer of the UK-flagged cargo vessel Scot Carrier, admitted to being drunk at the time of the collision. Unfortunately, claiming the lives of two Danish seafarers onboard the cargo ship Karin Høj. Hence, A Danish court has found the UK seafarer guilty of involuntary manslaughter. As a result, the officer will serve his sentence of 18 months in prison for his role in the fatal collision in the Baltic Sea.
Moreover, he also received a ban from sailing in Danish waters. By the time the officer fulfills the one-and-a-half-year sentence, he will be deported from Denmark.