Scot Carrier Officer Arraigned as Sweden Plans to Search Danish Vessel

British officer arraigned in collision as vessel search is planned
Karin Høj remains mostly submerged but the plan is to lift the vessel on Friday (Swedish Coast Guard)

Published Dec 16, 2021 4:17 PM by The Maritime Executive

The British second officer from the Scot Carrier was formally arraigned today on charges stemming from the collision with a Danish barge on Monday that killed one and left a second person missing. The arrest hearing took place in Malmö District Court with the court accepting the recommendations of the prosecutor that the crew member be detained awaiting trial.

Based on its investigation, the Public Prosecutor’s Office requested that the British citizen be “detained on suspicion of probable cause for aggravated drunken driving, aggravated negligence in maritime traffic, and aggravated causing another person's death.” Swedish media reports indicate that the crew member who is reported to be in this 30s and was on the bridge of the vessel at the time of the collision admitted to the court the charge of negligence in maritime traffic. He denied the more serious aggravated charges relating to negligent homicide.

The shipping company that owns the Scot Carrier had previously confirmed that two crew members were found to be over Sweden’s legal limit for alcohol intoxication during normal testing after the collision. The Scot Carrier failed to stop after the accident and only returned to the scene after being called by the Swedish Coast Guard when an emergency beacon on the Danish Karin Høj began signaling. 

The Swedish Coast Guard is preparing to continue the investigation and search for the missing crew member from the Karin Høj on Friday, December 17 after the expected salvage of the vessel. The Danish vessel, which remains overturned, lost some of its buoyancy on December 15 sinking deeper into the coastal waters. The Coast Guard and Sea Rescue Service strung oil containment barriers around the vessel. 

A salvage team arrived on-site from Denmark and their plan to lift the Karin Høj was approved by the Swedish Transport Agency. After the vessel is righted, the Coast Guard plans to board it to carry out a further inspection and search for the missing crew member. The vessel will then be returning to Denmark.

A second crew member from the Scot Carrier was released by the Swedish police after prosecutors reported that the case against the individual who was the chief officer on the vessel had weakened. AIS data indicates that the Scott Carrier remains docked in Sweden and the authorities have not indicated when they might release the vessel.