Man remanded after two killed in Copenhagen jetski tragedy

A 24-year-old man has been remanded in custody until June 1st after a jetski accident Saturday in Copenhagen that left two American exchange students dead.

Man remanded after two killed in Copenhagen jetski tragedy
Police technicians examine the rented boat involved in the accident on Saturday evening. Photo: Scanpix

The man and seven others, including one woman, attended preliminary hearings at Copenhagen City Court Sunday following the jetski accident Saturday evening.

He is charged with double manslaughter, exposing others to life-threatening danger through recklessness and for failing to stop at the scene of an accident, reports broadcaster DR.

The man is accused of piloting the jetski that crashed into a rented boat in Copenhagen harbour near the Langebro bridge Saturday evening, killing two American women.

The group rode their jetskis at speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour, according to drone footage filmed near the time of the accident which was subsequently sent to police, wrote Ekstra Bladet, which reported live from Sunday’s hearing.

This is denied by the jetski riders themselves, although one did estimate that they travelled at up to 50 kilometres per hour.

All eight jetski riders sailed to the harbour in nearby Brøndby after the accident but did not realise the seriousness of the incident until police arrived on the scene.

One of the seven jetski riders not involved in the crash heard “a scream”, Ekstra Bladet reports.

The 24-year-old was the only one of the eight jetski riders to have a passenger on board, and the passenger – the man’s girlfriend – was thrown into the water by the impact with boat, according to the man’s statement that was read at the hearing by the prosecutor.

“He then sailed back to the boat to pick up his girlfriend, and there he saw a lot of blood and panicked. So he picked up his girlfriend and sailed to Brøndby harbour,” read the prosecutor according to Ekstra Bladet’s report.

The man voluntarily approached police when they arrived at Brøndby harbour.

Police at Brøndby Harbour on Saturday. Photo: Mathias Øgendal/Scanpix

There were seven people on board the boat that was hit by the jetski, all of whom were taking part in a study exchange programme, Study Abroad in Scandinavia (DIS) announced on its website Sunday.

Counselling is available to all students affected by the tragedy, DIS wrote.

A man who saw the jetskis riding in the harbour before the accident wrote on Facebook Saturday that he shouted from a jetty that they were travelling at dangerously high speeds.

“Yesterday at around 19:10 I rode out to a jetty at Nokken at Copenhagen Harbour to shout at a pair of jetski idiots that were sailing like crazy. To my surprise they rode up to hear what I had to say. When they found out that I wanted to tell them they were going too fast and jetskis are not allowed Copenhagen Harbour they got aggressive and shouted at me,” wrote Max Kim Tobiasen.

A number of the eight said at the hearing that they remember a “very angry man” shouting at them shortly before the accident, according to Ekstra Bladet’s report.

Louise Høj, defence lawyer for the 24-year-old, told DR Nyheder that her client did not intend to injure anyone.

“This was a tragic accident. If the law has been broken, it requires that something should have been done on purpose or with the intention of injuring someone, and he didn’t do that,” Høj said.

The jetskis had sailed in the harbour for “an hour to an hour and a half,” one of the individuals charged with riding the jetskis said at the hearing.

Remanding the man for the rest of the month is a necessary measure to help police thoroughly investigate the accident, prosecution lawyer Anders Larsson told DR Nyheder.

“Now we must investigate the incident, and need to look at many reports received from people in the area. Then we will see if we can get any closer to what actually happened,” he said.

The 24-year-old was given custody partly due to previous convictions for violent behaviour and theft, reported DR, which was present at the preliminary hearing.

The use of jetskis, waterskiing, and windsurfing are all prohibited in Copenhagen harbour.

TV2 reports that the 24-year-old man was emotional and in tears during the hearing.

The seven other people also charged with putting others in danger by riding the jetskis at excessively high speeds were calm and composed, reports TV2.

READ MORE: All the news from Copenhagen



Copenhagen to miss 2025 zero emissions target

Copenhagen will not reach its longstanding target of becoming CO2 emissions neutral by 2025.

Cyclists on Copenhagen's
Cyclists on Copenhagen's "Lille Langebro" bridge. The Danish capital has admitted to errors in emissions calculations and says it won't be climate neutral in 2025, a long-standing target. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

A city councillor told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the city, which has long stated its aim of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital, would not meet that target as scheduled.

“I won’t need to stand there in 2025 and say ‘hurrah, we’re CO2 neutral’, because I know that CO2 will still be emitted (then),” elected representative Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Copenhagen Municipality environment section told Jyllands-Posten.

Tourist board Visit Denmark has previously used the emissions goal to market the city, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named the target during the C40 climate summit when it was hosted by Copenhagen in 2019.

But the municipality has included wind energy produced in other municipalities in its calculations on energy sustainability, according to the newspaper report.

This means it effectively still emits CO2 overall.

The company which supplies energy to the city, Hofor, has erected windmills in a number of municipalities outside of Copenhagen. But the electricity produced by these windmills has been used in calculations of CO2 emissions in both Copenhagen and in the municipalities in which the windmills are actually located.

The replication of the energy production in data for different locations can “rightly” be said to be “cheating the scales”, according to Hedeager Olsen.

But that is not the only problem in calculations of the city’s emissions, she also admitted.

“There are loads of things that haven’t been counted,” she said.

The goal to become climate neutral by 2025 was first set by the city in 2012 in a climate plan adopted by the city government.

Copenhagen was the following year awarded the Cities Climate Leadership award for the plan.