Danish submarine inventor accused of missing journalist's manslaughter

Danish submarine inventor accused of missing journalist's manslaughter

The owner of an amateur-built submarine was arrested on suspicion of murder Friday after his vessel sank off Denmark's coast and a journalist who had joined him for what was supposed to be a short voyage was reported missing, Copenhagen police said. He claims he dropped the woman off at Refshaleøen three hours later. The journalist's boyfriend alerted authorities on Friday that the sub had not returned from a test run, police said.

It will be partly drained of water and searched by the police late on Saturday and early Sunday.

Kim Wall, 30, a NY and Beijing-based journalist, hasn't been seen since Madsen's40-ton, almost 60-foot-long submarine sank off Denmark's eastern coast Friday.

Miss Wall's family said: "It is with great dismay that we received the news that Kim went missing during an assignment in Denmark". Her writing has appeared in Harpers, The Guardian, New York Times, Foreign Policy, Vice Magazine, Slate, South China Morning Post, The Atlantic, Roads & Kingdoms, and TIME. Eventually a lighthouse in Koge Bay, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Copenhagen, spotted the craft at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. Salvage teams are at the site.

It is believed a search will be carried out once the vessel has been towed to port later today.

Danish police would not comment on why charges had been brought before a body had been found, but said they would offer another update later on Saturday after Mr Madsen appears in court.

The police said on Friday the inventor had said he had dropped Wall off in Copenhagen on Thursday night.

The submarine was Madsen's third attempt at building such a structure and was the largest privately built submarine in the world at the time of its launch.

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. "Then a defect happened with a ballast tank which wasn't that serious - until I tried to fix it - then it suddenly became very serious".

"It took about 30 seconds for Nautilus to sink, and I couldn't close any hatches or anything", Madsen said. "But that might be ok, as I would still be down there then".

Madsen "told us he had technical problems" to explain why the submarine had failed to respond to radio contact, Mr Damgaard said.

Mr Madsen made headlines in 2008 when he built the 17-metre long home-made submarine by using online crowd-funding.