The crowdfunding project fell short, and Madsen eventually took possession of the Nautilus himself to finish the job. His efforts drew the attention of a Swedish journalist, who took a trip with Madsen on the sub this week. The reporter had said she was writing a story for Wired (though she was not on assignment for Wired in the US, and was not formally employed by the UK edition of the publication). Madsen was seen departing with her around 7pm local time on August 10 from Refshale Island (Refshaleøen), an industrial area east of Copenhagen.
But he never made it back to the harbor. According to the police report, "At 11.00 the submarine suddenly sank and the owner was subsequently rescued on a private motorboat sailing [near] him in port."
After being rescued, Madsen told Denmark's TV2 that "a minor problem with a ballast tank... turned into a major issue." The ballast tank, which holds air or water to vary the submarine's buoyancy, apparently filled with water unexpectedly. The Nautilus' hatches were open, so as the sub started to submerge it began to flood. Madsen said that the sub was gone in 30 seconds. If he had been below decks instead of in the small mast of the sub, he would have been killed.
But Madsen didn’t mention his passenger. When questioned by the police, he said that he had dropped the woman off Thursday evening near where they had departed from, around 10:30pm. But no one had been able to reach the woman or establish her whereabouts.
Police are still seeking anyone who may have seen the woman or the submarine on Thursday night.
Friday, August 11, 2017
"Biggest amateur-built sub sinks—owner is suspected of killing passenger"