Famous Submarine Sinks, Inventor Accused of Murder

Journalist is missing after Peter Madsen's sub goes down
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 12, 2017 8:34 AM CDT
Famous Submarine Sinks, Inventor Accused of Murder
This is a 2008 file photo of submarine owner Peter Madsen.   (Hougaard Niels)

A strange murder case out of Denmark: The owner of an amateur-built submarine was arrested on suspicion of murder Friday after his vessel sank off the coast and a journalist who had joined him for what was supposed to be a short voyage was reported missing, per the AP. Police said the man denied killing the missing woman and reported that he dropped her off on a redeveloped island in Copenhagen's harbor about three hours into their Thursday night trip. The submarine's owner is Peter Madsen, 46. The Danish inventor's financing of the project through crowdfunding and the first launch of the UC3 Nautilus in 2008 had previously made international headlines. The 40-ton, nearly 60-foot-long vessel has been described as the largest privately built submarine of its kind.

Before his arrest, Madsen appeared on Danish television to discuss the sinking and his rescue. It was the journalist's boyfriend who alerted authorities Friday that the sub had not returned from a test run. "I am fine, but sad because Nautilus went down," Madsen told Denmark's TV2 channel, which aired footage of him getting off what appeared to be a private boat and making a thumbs-up sign. Madsen said "a minor problem with a ballast tank"—a compartment that holds water to provide stability—"turned into a major issue" that ultimately caused the vessel to sink. Police said later they were investigating the whereabouts of a missing woman who had been on the sub at some point. "Whether the woman was on board the submarine at the time of her disappearance is unclear," police said. The woman was a journalist writing about Madsen and his submarine. (More submarine stories.)

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