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Deaths of mother and seven-year-old son after falling off ferry ‘not an accident’

An investigation has revealed the deaths of a Polish mother and her seven-year-old son after they fell off a ferry last week was not an accident.

The pair were travelling from Sweden to Poland when the mother dived overboard in a frantic bid to save her boy after he fell off the vessel into the icy Baltic Sea on Thursday.

They were hauled from the water to a helicopter then transported separately to a Swedish hospital, but could not be saved.

Oessur Jarleivson Hilduberg, head of the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board, said: “Our investigation showed quite clearly that it was not an accident.”


Danish officials conducted the preliminary investigation as the ferry, Stena Spirit, was sailing under its flag – meaning the vessel is under Denmark’s jurisdiction.

The investigation had collected data from video footage, pictures and witnesses, Mr Hilduberg said.

Swedish prosecutors on Friday said the case was being investigated as a possible murder.

The child is thought to have fallen from a height of about 20m (65ft), according to Swedish Maritime Administration spokesman Jonas Franzen.

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The Stena Spirit had departed from Karlskrona in southern Sweden, around 310 miles (500km) from the capital Stockholm.

It was midway through its journey to Gdynia on the coast of Poland, about 279 miles (450km) north of Warsaw, when the incident happened.


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