Forensic scientist investigating the submarine.
Forensic scientist investigating the submarine. Credit: Foto: Natacha Lopez/Sveriges Radio.

Police: Amateur submarine was sunk deliberately

Swedish journalist missing since Thursday
2:44 min

Danish police's forensic investigation confirms that the sinking of the submarine Nautilus on Friday was deliberate. A Swedish journalist is still missing after she went on board the home-made submarine.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Danish police said the forensic investigation, which has been carried out with the help of submarine experts from the Danish Armed Forces, is more or less finalised. A "substantial amount of electronics" from the vessel has been sent for further examination, to try to reconstruct the journey of the submarine and a timeline for the sailing.

The Danish inventor and submarine owner is in custody, suspected of causing the death of a Swedish journalist who had come on board his home-made submarine Nautilus on Thursday night to do an interview.

The inventor was himself rescued from the sinking submarine on Friday, but claimed he had dropped off the journalist on a peninsula in the outskirts of the Danish capital the night before. However, she was reported missing in the early hours of Friday morning, after she did not return home, and has not been heard of since.

The inventor is now suspected of causing the 30-year-old woman's death. He denies having anything to do with her disappearance, but his lawyer told Danish TV2 that he will not appeal his detention orders. According to the detention order from this Saturday, the 46-year-old inventor can be detained for up to 24 days.

Over the weekend, Danish police managed to locate the submarine in Køge bay just south of Copenhagen, from where it was recovered. On Sunday they announced that no body had been found at the wreck of the submarine. They did say, however, that the vessel seemed to have been deliberately sunk. Police also said that the suspect has given them different versions of what actually happened to the journalist.

On Monday, police continued searching the area with the help of divers as well as search and rescue planes from the Danish Armed Forces. Swedish police has also been called in to help with the search, based on "information regarding currents in Öresund and the bay of Køge since Thursday night", the police statement said.

A witness has come forward, claiming he almost collided with the submarine on Thursday evening while working on his large vessel. At that point, the submarine crossed the channel in Öresound from Denmark towards Sweden in the Southern part of Öresound, according to the police statement.

Danish police are now calling for information from anyone who have been sailing through the Öresound and the Bay of Køge, and who may have seen the submarine, either on Thursday night or on Friday morning, before it sank at around 11 am. They are also hoping to speak to anyone who may have been sailing with the inventor on Nautilus "in order to determine where these trips would normally go and how they took place".

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