A passing German merchant ship has found the three-metre wide black dinghy that two 18-year-old men sailed from the town of Juelsminde on the east coast of Jutland on Monday afternoon. There was no sign of the occupants, according to a representative of the Danish navy (SOK). A massive air and sea search has been trying to find the teenagers since their friends reported them missing Monday evening.
The German ship immediately alerted SOK that it had found the dinghy. The tiny boat was found with only the bow sticking out of the water.
"We have suspended the search; there is no trace of the boys,” the staff guard at SOK told Politiken newspaper.
The rubber craft will be handed over to the police to see if it reveals any evidence about what may have happened.
Ships, helicopters and planes have been searching for the dinghy and missing men since Monday. The navy said that the boat was found in the main search area. Waves and the boat’s black colour made it hard to spot.
"You can sail right past without finding them," said a spokesperson to Politiken.
If the boat had been swamped, the body temperature of the occupants may have dropped, making it hard for even infrared cameras to spot them. Along with the open water search, police patrols on land explored the coast north and south of Juelsminde, looking for any signs of the missing teens.
The two 18-year-olds had told some friends that they would sail to meet on Monday. When they did not turn up, the friends contacted the authorities.