The British cargo ship Scot Carrier is pictured after colliding with the Danish cargo ship Karin Hoej, between Ystad and Bornholm, on the Baltic Sea December 13, 2021. Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency/via REUTERS

Scot Carrier Officer Sentenced to Prison Over Fatal Baltic Sea Collision

Mike Schuler
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June 16, 2022

A British crew member of the Scot Carrier has pleaded guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 1.5 years in prison after his ship collided with a barge last year in Baltic Sea, killing two Danish seafarers, Danish police said on Thursday.

The Scot Carrier, a 2018-built general cargo ship, collided with the 55-meter barge ‘Karin Hoj’ off the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm in fog early in the morning on December 13, 2021, causing the barge to capsize. Two crew members on board the barge were killed in the accident.

The 30-year-old Briton, who was on the bridge at the time of the accident, was one of two crew members detained by Swedish police following the incident on suspicion that they were intoxicated.

Danish police announced charges against the man earlier this month, accussing him of violations “section 241 of the Criminal Code for negligent manslaughter in particularly aggravating circumstances, among other things by having sailed the ship in an intoxicated state,” to which he pleaded guilty. He also pleaded guilty to charge of leaving the scene the collision without providing help or assistance to the crew on Karin Høj.

Shortly after the accident, Scot Carrier’s owner, Scotline Marine Holdings Limited, issued a statement providng some details of the incident and what happened afterwards. According to the company, the barge’s EPIRB system was activated, prompting Swedish authorities to contact the Scot Carrier for further information. However, the vessel had sailed on and didn’t alter course to return for up to 25 minutes after the collision.

“The 2nd Officer, who was on the bridge at the time requested the Master to come to the bridge of the ‘Scot Carrier’ where he reported contact with the Swedish Coastguard,” the company said at the time.

“Once all crew members had been accounted for and an initial damage assessment completed, the Scot Carrier returned to the location of the incident and launched a rescue boat to participate in the search and rescue operation. It is understood that the time between the incident and the Scot Carrier altering course to the location of the incident was under 25 minutes.”

A Copenhagen city court also gave the man a 12-year entry ban to Denmark and a temporary ban on sailing in Danish waters, Danish police said. 

“This is a case that has had some very serious consequences. Two families have lost a family member due to the actions and behavior of convicts. The length of the sentence reflects this seriousness, and I am satisfied that the court followed my sentence,” says special prosecutor Anders Larsson from the Copenhagen Police.

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