Crew on ship involved in fatal collision ‘exceeded drugs and alcohol limit’

Two were arrested after an Inverness-registered ship collided with a Danish boat

Katharine Hay
Monday 13 December 2021 23:34
<p>A distress call was made at about 3.30am local time</p>

A distress call was made at about 3.30am local time

Crew members on board a British-bound cargo ship involved in a fatal collision tested positive for drugs and alcohol, the vessel’s owner confirmed.

Two people were arrested after an Inverness-registered ship called Scot Carrier collided with Danish boat Karin Hoej in the Baltic Sea off the Swedish coast.

Scotline Marine Holdings Limited, the owner of Scot Carrier, confirmed two of the crew members on board were over the limit when undertaking a drugs and alcohol test.

A distress call was made at about 3.30am local time (02:30 GMT) on Monday after the boats crashed at sea.

Swedish authorities carried out a major search involving a helicopter and ships and found one body aboard the smaller Danish boat, which capsized in the collision.

One of Karin Hoej’s crew remains missing at sea.

The Swedish Prosecution Service (SPS) said two people, a British and a Croatian citizen, have been arrested on potential charges of causing the death of another person, gross negligence in maritime traffic and “gross sea drunkenness”.

A spokesperson for Scotline Marine Holdings Limited said: “In line with standard procedures, all crew members of the Scot Carrier were tested for drugs and alcohol with two crew members exceeding the legal limit.

“Scot Marine Holdings confirm that they have a strict drug and alcohol policy in place and have a zero-tolerance for any breaches that occur.”

The spokesperson said the company’s owners and managers offer “their heartfelt thoughts” to the families of the deceased and the crew member who remains lost at sea.

The SPS confirmed the cause of the collision is unclear, and prosecutors are in the early stages of their investigation into what happened.

Earlier today, a spokesman for SMA told the BBC that screams had been heard from the water after the collision.

“It is very cold and dark,” Jonas Franzen said. “The water is about 4C (39F) and the air is about 5C (41F).”

According to the website MarineTraffic, Scot Carrier was travelling from Salacgriva in Latvia to Montrose in Scotland, while the Karin Hoej had left Sodertalje in Sweden for Nykoebing Falster in Denmark.

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