Swedish Journalist Missing After Crowdfunded Submarine Sinks
When the UC3 Nautilus was first launched in 2008, it was
as the world's largest privately built submarine. It's had some trouble along the way but was back in action this year. On Friday, however, it sunk off the coast of
reported early this morning that
Further details are sketchy. According to the report, "The navy initially said the sub was 'found sailing' south of Copenhagen." But later corrected themselves and confirmed that it had sunk. Soon thereafter, Copenhagen police confirmed that an unidentified woman had been reported missing and her boyfriend told authorities that she had been on the submarine doing a story for Wired . The boyfriend is said to be the one who first alerted police that the submarine was missing when it didn't return on time.
According to Swedish outlet Berlingske , a spokesperson for the Danish police said that Madsen claims he dropped the woman off in Copenhagen the previous night. "We know she was aboard the submarine last night, but we do not know if she was aboard the boat when she disappeared." the spokesperson said. "All I can say is that the woman's relatives reported her missing this night and that we still have not heard from her." Local police have tweeted that they are investigating and have no further comment at this time.
"It took about 30 seconds for Nautilus to sink, and I couldn't close any hatches or anything," Madsen told reporters. Co-founder of the
Copenhagen Suborbitals is a group of amateur rocket enthusiasts that supports itself through crowdfunding and has around 55 volunteers. The collective hopes to one day fly a volunteer on one of its rockets but flight tests have, so far, failed . The Nautilus was another project for the group and was a bigger success. In 2014, Madsen left the group to focus on other projects, one of which being the UC3 Nautilus .
The UC3 Nautilus submarine association was formed in order to separate ownership of the sub from Copenhagen Suborbitals. But within a year, Madsen was feuding with the board of that organization over who the proper owner of Nautilus really was. A statement on the association's website claims that board members received a text message from Madsen that read in part, "You may think that a curse is lying on Nautilus. That curse is me." After several rounds of negotiation, the board decided to cede ownership of the vessel to Madsen.
The submarine's tumultuous journey is now at an end. But many questions remain unanswered. First and foremost, authorities are scrambling to find the missing journalist that was last seen with Madsen. Police divers are reportedly searching the area for the UC3 Nautilus wreckage. The Danish navy is also encouraging members of the public who have the right equipment to help with the search.