Submarine owner arrested over missing journalist

After the submarine was reported missing early Friday the navy had launched a search from Copenhagen to the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm with two helicopters and three ships

A Danish inventor faces a potential life sentence after being accused of killing a journalist who visited his 18m-long ship before it sank off the country's eastern coast on Friday.

Mr Madsen then swam to a nearby boat as the submarine sank.

Danish media said Mr Madsen had been charged with negligent manslaughter and would be detained for 24 days, following his court appearance on Saturday.

After his 18-meter-long vessel went down near Copenhagen he said the missing journalist - feared drowned - left him before it sank.

Madsen had wanted to launch himself into the space race before building his submarine the Nautilus, the biggest privately-made one ever when he made it in 2008.

Madsen told police he had dropped off Wall not far from where their journey began, but after she was later reported missing, authorities suspected she may have been inside the submarine when it sank. "But I guess that was pretty good, because I otherwise still would have been down there".

Danish authorities announced yesterday they were looking for the Nautilus sub, reported to have gone missing on Thursday night in Oresund strait between Denmark and Sweden.

Her partner raised the alarm in the early hours of Friday when she failed to return from the Nautilus vessel.

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Kristian Isbak, who had answered the call to help locate the ship, saw Mr Madsen standing in the submarine's tower dressed in trademark military fatigues while it was still afloat. "They were the only two on board [on Thursday]". She also was not identified by name.

Police said the submerged submarine was lying in just over 2m of water, but divers had not been able to enter it safely.

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

Madsen describes himself as an "inventrepaneur" on the website for his Copenhagen-based company. "I design and manufacture non-commercial extreme machines, employing teams of volunteering engineers and technicians to challenge the ordinary...." "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".

Two helicopters and three ships scoured the Baltic Sea waters between Copenhagen and the island of Bornholm. It was spotted by a lighthouse in Koge Bay, a seaport south of the city, at 10:30 a.m.

"A radio contact was established for the boat, which, according to the owner, was heading towards the harbour", police said.

Madsen said in an interview with a Danish television station that the trip spun into chaos after a "minor problem" with a mechanism meant to balance the craft turned into a "major issue".

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