A 15-year-old girl was found on board the fishing ship Grímsnes GK-555 in the company of a 24-year-old man, RÚV reports. The ship’s captain maintains that the crew did not know of the girl’s presence on board and that the man responsible has been fired. Police are investigating the case as a potential child abduction.
Westman Islands police began a search for the girl last Saturday when her parents reached out to them. She was believed to have left the islands by ferry late on Saturday. The Grímsnes GK-555 left Heimaey harbour on the Westman Islands at 4:00 AM on Sunday morning.
Police contacted ship
The ship’s captain Sigvaldi Hólmgrímsson maintains that none of the crew knew that the girl was on board the ship. According to Sigvaldi, police contacted the ship due to a suspicion that the girl was on board. At that point, he asked the 24-year-old man, who confessed to having brought the girl onto the ship. According to RÚV, Sigvaldi is related to the man who brought the girl on board.
Suspected of child abduction
The 24-year-old man was arrested at the Njarðvík harbour on Sunday but was released after questioning. According to police, he is suspected of violating Article 193 of Iceland’s Penal Code, which addresses the abduction of minors. The article outlines that such violations are punishable by fine or up to 16 years in prison, or a life sentence.
The suspect was previously convicted to 12 months in prison for violent offences and threats against two former girlfriends. Sigvaldi stated that he knew of the man’s previous convictions but decided to give him a chance on the ship as he appeared to be working on reforming his behaviour. He was, however, fired after this incident.