Cargo Ships Collide, 2 Missing

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Two cargo ships collided on Monday during foggy conditions in the Baltic Sea between the Danish island of Bornholm and the southern Swedish city of Ystad and a rescue operation was launched for two missing people, reports CNN.

About the ships 

The 55-metre Karin Hoej, registered in Denmark, had capsized and was upside down, the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) said. It had two people on board and they were missing, the Danish Defence’s Joint Operations Centre (JOC) said.

The other ship, the 90-metre, British-registered Scot Carrier, was functional and its crew were safe.

What is the reason?

It is not clear what caused the collision, but a preliminary investigation into gross negligence in maritime traffic is now underway, the Swedish Coast Guard said. Ten boats and several helicopters had begun searching for the duo, but the at-sea component of the search and rescue operation has since been called off.

“The ship has now been towed to shallow waters so divers from the Swedish coast guard can go inside and search it for survivors or casualties,” Fredrik Strömbäck, a communications officer at the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA), told CNN.

About the accident 

The ships crashed into each other between the Swedish town of Ystad and the Danish Island of Bornholm at about 3:30 Central European Time. The accident happened in Swedish territorial waters, and both vessels were heading in the same direction, Reuters reported.

One of the two, the Danish-flagged Karin Hoej, capsized. Two people who were believed to be on board the 55-meter long (180-foot long) ship have not been accounted for, according to the SMA. Authorities said it’s believed the Karin Hoej was not carrying any goods at the time of the crash and was operating a reduced crew.

The other vessel, the Scot Carrier, appears to have not suffered any major damage. The Scot Carrier is 90 meters (295 feet) long and registered in the United Kingdom. Its owner, Scotline, told Reuters the company could not comment on specifics surrounding the incident but said that it was cooperating and assisting authorities.

Denmark Defense Minister’s statement 

The Denmark Defense Ministry’s Joint Operations Centre could not immediately say whether either ship had hazardous cargo on board.

“The Danish ship, which is upside down, is a relatively small ship, so it has so little oil on board. That is not what worries us at the moment,” it said, according to Reuters.

Data from MarineTraffic.com showed that the Karin Hoej was traveling to the southern Danish city of Nykobing Falster. The Scot Carrier was headed from Salacgriva, Latvia, to the Scottish town of Montrose.

The rescue operation

The rescue operation near the site, which was riddled with wreckage, was ongoing more than five hours after the incident. Swedish divers were standing by on land to investigate the hull, the SMA said.

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Source: CNN

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