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Journalist Missing When Danish Submarine Sinks

A journalist is missing as one of the world’s few privately-owned submarines sinks in Denmark


We’ve previously reported on the sinking of the UC3 Nautilus in Denmark (see below), a homemade submarine made by local celebrity and inventor Peter Madsen. What began as a lost-at-sea story has unfortunately turned grim as authorities have identified the body of missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who had gone out with Madsen on the sub.

After an extensive search, authorities located a body floating near the coast of the island of Amager, south of Copenhagen. The body had been dismembered, with the arms, legs and head cut off. DNA analysis proved that it was Wall. Police also announced that they found Wall’s blood inside the now-recovered submarine.

Through his attorney, Madsen has maintained his story that she died in an accident aboard the sub, and that he disposed of the body at sea. Police have maintained the manslaughter charge, and investigations are ongoing.

It has all the makings of a Clive Cussler thriller. There’s a visionary inventor, a sunken sub, a missing reporter — and lots of unanswered questions. But this isn’t a mystery novel. A Danish submarine, one of the world’s few privately owned vessels, sank south of Copenhagen, possibly with Swedish journalist Kim Wall onboard.

The ordeal started on the evening of August 10th at around 7:30 p.m. Danish inventor Peter Madsen sailed from Copenhagen in a self-constructed submarine, the UC3 Nautilus. Onboard was also Kim Wall, a Swedish reporter. Late in the night between Thursday the 10th and Friday the 11th, the Wall’s boyfriend contacted Danish police, as neither she nor the submarine returned as planned.

What happened to the Danish sub and the reporter?

The authorities launched a large-scale search on Friday morning, fearing that the submarine might be in trouble or have sunk. Around 10 a.m., they sighted the submarine in a bay south of Copenhagen. Authorities established radio contact with Madsen determined that the submarine was on its way back.

And this is when things took a turn for the mysterious. At 11 a.m., the police issued another statement, saying that the submarine had sunk suddenly on its way back to harbor, but that they had saved Madsen and brought him ashore. There was no news of Wall, who was presumably onboard.

A later statement claimed that Madsen told police that he brought Wall ashore in a remote area of Copenhagen harbor at around 10.30 p.m. the night before, and then left alone in the sub. According to him, that was the last he saw of her, and he didn’t suspect anything until almost 12 hours later when authorities hailed him on the radio.

Later in the day, though, the police issued a new statement stating that they were charging Madsen with manslaughter, but that they had not yet found Wall. Authorities have since determined that Madsen deliberately scuttled the sub himself in around 20 feet of water. Authorities have raised the sub and searched it. Wall is still missing, however, and Madsen is in custody.