Danish Inventor Charged with Murder After Submarine Is Wrecked

Pauline Gross
August 12, 2017

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - A Danish court ordered the owner of an amateur-built submarine Saturday to be held in pre-trial detention for 24 days while police investigate the disappearance of a Swedish journalist who had been on the ship before it sank.

Peter Madsen, 46, was arrested on preliminary manslaughter charges on Friday after he was rescued from his home-made submarine when it sank off Denmark's eastern coast.

Mr Madsen appeared calm during an interview with Danish television shortly after the submarine sank, saying: "I am fine, but sad because Nautilus went down".

When it failed to return, the journalist's boyfriend alerted authorities at about 2:30 a.m. Friday morning, prompting a wide search.

A salvage vessel, the Vina, was Saturday working on raising the submarine, which was seven meters (23 feet) under water off Copenhagen's south island of Dragoer.

Deputy Insp Jens Moller Jensen said investigators were looking for witnesses who may have seen the woman after the time Madsen said she disembarked.

"Whether the woman was on board the submarine at the time of her disappearance is unclear", Danish police said without naming her.

Mr Madsen was rescued, but there was no trace of the woman.

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Madsen told authorities he had dropped her off back at their departure point at about 10:30 p.m.

The police in Sweden said they had tried without success to contact the woman by phone. "(He) came up again and stayed in the tower until water came into it" before swimming to a nearby boat as the submarine sank, he added.

"He told us that the journalist who also had been on board had been dropped off Thursday evening", navy spokesman Anders Damgaard said. "But I guess that was pretty good, because I otherwise still would have been down there".

A helicopter search the area off of Copenhagen Harbour where the world's largest privately-built submarine "Nautilus" was reported missing near Copenhagen, Denmark August 11, 2017.

Madsen describes himself as an "inventrepaneur" on the website for his Copenhagen-based company.

"My passion is finding ways to travel to worlds beyond the well-known", Madsen wrote on the site. "Diving, no matter the method, is very challenging and it's technically hard to go to beyond where rubber suits and scuba gear can take us".

Ms Wall had been writing about Madsen for a story and is believed to have set sail with him from Refshale Island at 7pm on Thursday.

However, when she failed to return home later that day, her anxious boyfriend contacted the authorities, which led to a full-scale search for the submarine in the early hours.

Other reports by GizPress

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