A cargo ship lies upside down in the water after what is believed to be a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. A major rescue operation is underway to rescue people who have fallen into the water.
“There have been screams from the water,” says Jonas Franzen, head of communications at the Swedish Maritime Administration.
Two freighters are feared to have collided on the Baltic Sea, midway between Ystad and Bornholm, on the night of Monday. It is a British and a Danish ship. The Danish, which is the smaller of them, has capsized and is upside down.
“There are two men overboard and they have not been found,” says Christian Carlsson of the Coast Guard.
A major rescue operation involving six boats, two merchant ships and helicopters from Sweden and Denmark is underway early Monday morning. The Coast Guard is on its way to the scene with three ships.
“The British ship reported that they probably collided, the report came in at half past four,” says Jonas Franzen, head of communications at the Swedish Maritime Administration.
The crew of the British ship that raised the alarm have heard screams from the water.
“We know that there were at least two people on the Danish ship who are now upside down. There have been screams from the water. The British ship had a small rescue boat that they put in, but they haven’t found one yet, says the Swedish Maritime Administration’s Jonas Franzen.
The capsized vessel is the 55-meter-long and 9-meter-wide Karin Hoej. It left Södertälje harbor on Saturday and was heading for Nykøbing Falster in Denmark’s southernmost parts, according to the site Marinetraffic.com which provides real-time information about sea traffic.
Since about half past four o’clock last night, Karin Hoej no longer reports any position.
The British cargo ship Scot Carrier is almost twice as long, 90 meters and 15 meters wide. It departed Lithuania on Saturday and, according to marinetraffic, was heading for Montrose in Scotland.
Rice and poor visibility
The Swedish Maritime Administration does not yet know what caused the accident.
“It is saving lives that we prioritize,” says Jonas Franzen.
The temperature of the air is 4–5 degrees, and in the water it is 5–6 degrees. The winds were weak at the time of the accident and also this morning, according to SMHI. But it is hazy and may also have been fog when the accident happened.
“I can imagine that there are quite poor visibility conditions now as well,” says Therese Fougman, meteorologist at SMHI.
The British ship is participating in the rescue operation. Jonas Franzen does not know if any of the crew of that ship were injured.
How long a man can survive in the cold water, he cannot pronounce on.