Concluding, the sinking of the ferry vessel MS Estonia in the Baltic Sea marks the second-deadliest peacetime sinking of a European ship, after the Titanic, as well as the deadliest peacetime shipwreck to have taken place in European waters. Recent explorations of the wreck site has found the "MS Estonia" lying on the side 240 feet down. Fatalities. Following the sensational claim that the MS Estonia ferry had sunk due to a collision with a submarine back in 1994, the Estonian government said on October 1 that Estonia possesses the capability to explore the wreck of the ferry with a sonar and an underwater robot, whereas for a diving operation an international tender needs to be held. The ferry sank to the depth of 74 to 85 metres (243 to 279 ft) of water. That is exactly what I meant. Sweden aims to allow probe into deadly 1994 Estonia ferry disaster Sweden wants to lift a diving ban to re-examine why the ship sank. Der offizielle Untersuchungbericht ist unten auf der Seite verlinkt. If private people were alowed to “investigate”, a lot of stuff would simply get stolen and sold off. It makes me want to charter a boat and go see! “Estonia is the most successful state in central Europe. The Estonian press wrote about Voronin in December of 2006. The disaster is considered Europe’s second-deadliest peacetime sinking after that of the RMS Titanic. The MS Estonia sank into the Baltic Sea between Estonia and Sweden. The disaster claimed the lives of 852 people. It just…, I do love my weekly treat every Saturday - the case is always beautifully written as well as given in…, 2020 started with an Ukranian airliner shot down above Teheran and a VIP helicopter crashing in L.A. -- let's hope…, And again thank you Sylvia for your great contributions to aviation stories that we, your readers, all enjoy. A 1997 investigation found that … If an aircraft comes down, the investigation will be conducted under the laws of the country where it crashed, but investigators of the country of registration, as well as experts from the manufacturers will be involved as well. With 852 victims from 17 different countries, the sinking of the Estonia was Europe’s most severe passenger ferry disaster. The submarine in question would be from a NATO-country. share. Certainly, there is plenty of evidence of what could and should have been done better, both in terms of the maintenance of the ship and the ability to quickly and safely evacuate the ferry in the open seas. Of the 989 people on board, only 137 survived. This did not deter the documentary makers, and the director, Henrik Evertsson, along with one of his crew were arrested last September for examining the site. These rules don’t stand in the way of an official investigation, but they’re meant to be able to prosecute private people who go down there and just take whatever of value they can find. https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoheweg_(Schiff,_1974) Posted by 11 months ago. Evertsson said that it was imperative and essential from a journalistic standpoint to send a camera down to the wreck. The sinking of the MS Estonia in the Baltic Sea remains the deadliest peacetime shipwreck in European waters for centuries. With the documentary’s airing, perhaps the truth will finally emerge around the sinking of this vessel. An investigation has the potential of providing clues to what happened and how to prevent a similar accident from reoccurring. Our first meeting gave me … Estonia, Finland and Sweden formed a Joint Accident Investigation Commission to investigation the disaster, which concluded that what we would call the probable cause was the failure of the bow visor locking devices which failed in the stormy conditions as a result of faulty design. Within a week, I’d realised that this might not be possible. The crew declared an emergency and various vessels in the area went to offer assistance but the weather was rough and the other ships on the Baltic were unsure of Estonia‘s position. There are valid concerns that the original joint investigation was sloppy with little or no public oversight. A retired customs officer said that he had been given specific orders not to inspect specific vehicles on the ferry. Experts have now pinpointed the wreck of the Estonia, lying in waters some 80 metres (40 fathoms) deep off the coast of Finland. The first episode of the documentary was released on Monday to coincide with the 26th anniversary of the disaster. In 2006, Estonia held a further investigation to answer open questions about how the ship managed to list so badly and sink so rapidly. The ferry sank to the depth of 74 to 85 metres (243 to 279 ft) of water. The disaster is considered Europe’s second-deadliest peacetime sinking after that of the RMS Titanic. It means that the nation operating that submarine has managed to keep this collision a secret, and has had a good reason for doing so; and that the crew were neglecting basic precautions. In the early hours of 28th September 1994, the MS Estonia, a car, and passenger ferry, en route from Tallinn to Stockholm, sank in the Baltic Sea off Finland’s coast. Archived. The site is in international waters although within Finland’s economic zone. An international agreement declared the wreck a grave site in 1995 and banned diving there. His theory leads to a number of hard questions. The visor was missing and the ramp partly open. Sylvia’s writing has always been more about making the hazardous safer than about aviation in particular. When I first arrived in Estonia, I was immediately intrigued by this case and, although there were no planes involved, I decided it would make for an interesting post for Fear of Landing. Though all communication channels failed immediately following the accident, feeble messages sent by way of the intermittently collapsing radio lines helped in the rescuing operations, however delayed they were. On the 28th of September 1994, The MS Estonia, a cruise ferry operated by Estline, sank while crossing the Baltic Sea on route from Tallinn to Stockholm. Many survivors claim they heard a large bang at the time of the accident. 0 comments. The wreckage has been designated as a final place of rest for victims of the disaster, which means that it should not be disturbed. In the marine realm, that’s a lit more difficult (as it is when planes crash over the sea), so that makes many of these these accidents more mysterious. Discovery Networks, the makers of the new five-part documentary, titled “Estonia: The Find That Changes Everything,” claim to have found a gaping four-meter-wide hole in the ship’s hull. On the night of September 27-28, 1994, the ferry MS Estonia, carrying 989 passengers between Tallinn and Stockholm, sank in the Baltic Sea, hit by hard weather and winds measuring 9 on the Beaufort scale, which caused enormous waves. The ferry was carrying 989 people (186 crew and 803 passengers). FILE PHOTO: Candles are seen next to the names of victims during a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of a maritime disaster when MS Estonia, carrying 803 … However, the dive was carried out from a German registered ship. Meanwhile, although life rafts had been released, they were “wet” which meant that the passengers had to jump into the storming sea and swim to the rafts. On the night of September 27-28, 1994, the ferry MS Estonia, carrying 989 passengers between Tallinn and Stockholm, sank in the Baltic Sea, hit by hard weather and winds measuring 9 on the Beaufort scale, which caused enormous waves. The MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea off Finland on September 28, 1994, after the ship’s bow door locks failed during a storm, prompting the vessel to capsize within moments as hundreds of its passengers were left trapped. This led to her sinking. The first of the ferries that had diverted to help arrived at 02:12 and quickly made the seriousness of the situation clear. 2. I skimmed through the Wikipedia entry that you suggested. In the aftermath of the disaster, many relatives of the deceased demanded that their loved ones be raised from international waters and given a land burial. Harrow, Ms Estonia Viking Line Baltic Sea Some believe that the investigation was simply there to confirm the original theory that the disaster was caused by the broken bow visor. Personally, if I ever were to die in a ferry accident (I hope not !! A storm damaged the car ferry and it sank in minutes – one the worst maritime disasters in Europe. That brings us to the present. Notify me of new posts by email every Friday. save. Summary of this report In this report the Independent Fact Group shows that there were an substantial amount of non official filming made from the wreck during 1996, this in spite of the Agreement and law that states that the MV Estonia and the (defined) surrounding area shall be regarded as a final place of rest for victims of the disaster, and such shall be afforded appropriate respect. Following the sensational claim that the MS Estonia ferry had sunk due to a collision with a submarine back in 1994, the Estonian government said on October 1 that Estonia possesses the capability to explore the wreck of the ferry with a sonar and an underwater robot, whereas for a diving operation an international tender needs to be held. Divers have found 125 bodies in the restaurants and bars, and about 600 are still in their cabins; whole families are buried down there. A sad story, but what is the relationship to the sinking of the Estonia? But that can be regulated in maritime law. The claim that there was a collision with a submarine that hasn’t been acknowledged is extraordinary. Often without call sign, some with irrelevant information… probably this is an interesting point to dig into. The documentary describes the seabed in the area as sandy but Luik says he’s seen the unedited footage where it is clear that the area near the hole in the wreckage is in fact very rocky. In aviation, when there is an accident on land nowadays, usually the investigators can gather a lot of information very quickly. MS Estonia disappeared from the radar screens of other ships at around 01:50 EEST in international waters, about 22 nautical miles (41 kilometres) from the Finnish island of Utö. It may be that the original report was correct in its conclusion, if not in its investigative techniques. MS Estonia(wreck) The wreck of M/S Estonia which sunk in 1994 disaster claiming 852 lives. Many of the relatives of the victims, both in Estonia and in Sweden, question the conclusion from the original investigation. THE DIVING INVESTIGATION 01.-04.12.94 . Only 137 people survived the disaster. The Swedish Accident Investigation Board and the Accident Investigation Board of Finland also released their own reports that same year. The senior Estonian foreign ministry advisor, Mart Luik, on the other hand, argues that the hole in the hull most likely happened when the ship struck the seabed. For 25 years, the MS Estonia and hundreds of people who went down with it have lain undisturbed in … They may still be prosecuted for violating the sanctity of the grave. Experts interviewed for the documentary told Discovery Networks that the only thing that would account for such a massive hole would be an equally sizeable external force. On board the ship were 803 passengers and 186 crew. CHAPTER 27 . Somehow it doesn’t really feel like a diversion. The submarine in question would be from a NATO-country. Germany did not sign the 1995 treaty to maintain the sanctity of the site, which means that German ships are not bound by the treaty. On Wednesday 28th September 1994 at 01:50 (UTC +2) the MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea during a storm, on a routine crossing from the port of Tallinn in Estonia to Stockholm in Sweden. The Swedish Ministry of Defence stated that there was no military equipment on the ship on the 28th. I will be interested to hear what you find. But it would definitely be good to have a NTSB-style investigation and report on the exact sequence of events all the way to the ship’s final position. In the description of the divers’ footage taken in December 1994, Luik says there is a reference to damage and a crack near the E of Estline. Archived. This means that it isn’t illegal for me as a German citizen. The wreck site is classified as a graveyard, and it is illegal to dive there ; The MS Estonia Ship Disaster - Marine Insigh . The documentary team made a shocking discovery when they surveyed the Estonia wreck with an underwater drone Credit: Discovery “We found a … Without engine power, control of the cutter was lost and it capsized. What was a submarine doing there? Reintamm said that he had seen a large, white object in the water at the time of the accident. It was known that Russian troops departing Estonia were selling military equipment, weapons and ammunition to anyone with the money to buy it. This is the worst disaster in the history of … A twenty-five year old wreck was no longer a priority. Experts speaking on the documentary said that this evidence had not been taken into account at the time of the original investigation. The last word on the 1994 shipwreck of the M / S Estonia cruise ship, one of the greatest maritime tragedies in peacetime and which cost the lives of 852 people, has yet to be written. Certainly not if it could help to prevent another similar accident from happening. stole the computers. The mystery is that the captain’s body was never found, and we don’t know much about what the ship was doing because someone (who?) A total of 852 people drowned when the passenger and car ferry MS Estonia sank in Finnish waters in the early hours of September 28, 1994, … Engineers at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) doubt the theory that MS Estonia sank on collision with a submarine, claimed by former prosecutor Margus Kurm after creators of a new documentary on the disaster released footage of a four-meter long hole in the wreck's hull. There are multiple causes (design flaw, mechanical issue, bad decisions by crew, rescue failure) which led to over 850 fatalities (138 rescued). Not to mention the possible political ramifications. The documentary team argues that they were not prohibited from visiting the site or diving at the wreck. All the countries were opposed to re-floating the MS Estonia, due to the costs and complex logistics involved with raising such a large vessel, not to mention the large number of bodies trapped in the hull. This was obviously way beyond the scope of a Fear of Landing post and although I was briefly tempted to spend a year or two or three investigating the case thoroughly and writing a book on it, I regretfully decided that I was not the right person to take on the project, especially as a number of books and documentaries already exist. My general observation is that ships are larger-but-fewer (e.g., I was on a “small” cruise ship that carried 930) than airplanes; they also move much more slowly, and can slow down (or even stop if there’s an anchorage) without falling. In all, 138 were rescued from the Baltic; with some spending over six hours in 11°C water. The ship lies 80-85 metres underwater (around 275 feet) and could be scanned using sonar and followed up with an autonomous underwater vehicle. Conspiracy theories are taken rather more seriously in Estonia than in other places that I’ve lived and, it has to be said, often with good reason. He has asked the filmmakers to show the entire underwater footage so that people can see the context. Though all communication channels failed immediately following the accident, feeble messages sent by way of the intermittently collapsing radio lines helped in the rescuing operations, however delayed they were. Apr 8, 2017 - ms estonia was a Swedish ferry known as the viking line that sunk in 1994 after bow visor failure . Maritime disasters have haunted humans since we first learned how to arrange objects in a way that let us float atop them. The last Russian units left Estonia in August 1994, a month before the disaster. I am not familiar with laws dealing with ships that sank outside of territorial waters, but if access to divers can be restricted or even prohibited, surely another rule can be implemented, if it does not already exist, to limit access to official investigations. The Estonian government formed a working group to deal with the petition. The Disaster When the Estonia embarked in September 1994, it was a passenger ship with a flawless service record. MS Estonia Wreck. The conclusion was that a firehose, used for cleaning the deck, had somehow gotten overboard and wrapped itself around the propeller shaft. An absence of transmissions from en-route centers would leave a lot of airtime free for more-casual communications. And the case is surrounded by AMAZING conspiracy theories, made worse by the fact that it is illegal to dive at the wreck or even approach it, but only if you are Estonian, Finnish, Swedish, Latvian, Polish, Danish or British. And since we have broached the subject: Yes I can agree that free access to a wreck can lead to theft of objects on board, even disturbing evidence. Following the MS Estonia ferry sinking, one of the deadliest accidents in European waters, Sweden would give permission for an underwater examination of the shipwreck. This chatting (even in case of a Mayday situation) is general in the ship industry, or was it particular to this area? A decision was made to instead sink MS Estonia with torpedoes. I am planning on revisiting the original reports and following the new investigation as it progresses. Back in 1994, AIS (the naval equivalent to ADS-B) was not yet in widespread use, so it would’ve been difficult to monitor marine traffic for traffic control. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The ship M/S Estonia was en route from Tallinn to Stockholm when a storm ripped off the bow door. Mendel, A ghostly silhouette looms in front of the camera. But there are enough open questions to make it worth another look at the seabed. The Estonia was referred to as Death ferry and many questions were raised about Estline’s operations and Estonia’s oversight. One explanation suggested in the documentary is that the MS Estonia collided with a submarine, and the hull of the submarine caused the hole to be ripped in the hull of the ferry. Margus Kurm, who led the Estonian investigation in 2009, says he thinks the hole must have been caused by a collision with a submarine. The sinking of the MS Estonia was the largest maritime disaster to happen in the Baltic Seas during peacetime and the second-largest European maritime disaster in peacetime, with only the Titanic holding a higher death-toll. I'd better apologise to Juliet and Nikki about my quoting of "no 's' on the end of Meads"! The report concluded that it was not possible to confirm what caused the Estonia to sink without direct access to the wreck, which lies between the Estonian island of Hiiumaa and the Finnish archipelago of Turku. There are a number of English language pieces on this, such as Lies and Truths about the M/V Estonia Accident, The Sinking of MS Estonia: The Swedish Radical Right’s Favourite Conspiracy, MS Estonia – Still Doubts Over Official Story 24 Years After the Biggest Maritime Disaster in Europe Since WW2 and Ill-fated Estonia Ferry used for Weapons Transfers. Sweden said Friday it would seek to lift a ban on inspections of the wreck of the Estonia ferry, which sank in the Baltic Sea in 1994 with the loss of 852 lives in one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century. The footage was taken using an autonomous underwater vehicle which explored the site much like the devices used to map the seafloor during the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370. But then it changed its mind, refusing all pleas from the bereaved relatives to bring the Estonia to the surface, although it sank in shallow waters. Another question: are ships at sea subject to anything like the positive control and constant monitoring of planes over or near land? The president of Estonia, Lennart Meri, was only the 2nd president Estonia had ever had, the first having held office from 1938 to 1940. Only 137 people survived the disaster. The underwater investigation of the wreck of MS Estonia will not be launched this fall nor a new committee with an independent head formed in the … In the early hours of 28th September 1994, the MS Estonia, a car, and passenger ferry, en route from Tallinn to Stockholm, sank in the Baltic Sea off Finland’s coast. Learn how your comment data is processed. A diversion from the usual aviation material. … Noise transmitters were put out to hinder recording of what happened, but the Swedish navy recorded everything on their underwater microphones. The documentary claims that this hole in the ship was the true cause of the disaster, rather than the failure of the broken bow visor. In the weeks after the disaster, he expressed his frustration with the media portrayal of the situation. The MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea off Finland on September 28, 1994, after the ship’s bow door locks failed during a storm, prompting the vessel to capsize within moments as hundreds of its passengers were left trapped. The press reported that under international law, disturbing the site is punishable either by a fine or a two-year jail sentence. There were no other boats known in the area and no reports of damage. It is certainly true that the original VHS tape was copied badly, leaving many images murky and unclear. The MS Estonia was a passenger ferry that sank with over one thousand people aboard. It’s possible that the hose was placed there intentionally as an act of sabotage or self-sabotage. The position of the wreck is 59°22,9´ N, 21°41,0´ E. The makers of the five-part documentary series, which was released for streaming on Monday, claimed to have found a hitherto unrecorded four-metre hole in the hull of the MS Estonia. The NTSB in the US also investigates maritime accidents, so there is a lot of common ground here, and I’m sure Sylvia is well equipped to write on it. However, where that is not possible, customary international humanitarian law holds that  all possible measures will be taken to prevent the dead from being despoiled. The wreck was found in international waters within Finland's Search and Rescue Region, resting on the seabed at a water depth of about 80 m. The visor was missing and the ramp partly open. This week, the blog becomes “Fear Of Sinking”. share. Your email address will not be published. Most aircraft accidents occur over land, within a clear jurisdiction; much of marine traffic happens in international waters, where it’d be difficult to impose any sort of authority on the captains. The Sinking of the MS Estonia In 1994, the MS Estonia, sailing from Tallinn, Estonia to Stockholm, Sweden with 989 crew and passengers, sank in rough seas with a loss of 852 lives. I hope you will indulge my intermittent ferry posts. The underwater investigation of the wreck of MS Estonia will not be launched this fall nor a new committee with an independent head formed in the near future, State Secretary Taimar Peterkop said on Monday. See more ideas about ms estonia, viking line, estonia. Sweden said Friday it would seek to lift a ban on inspections of the wreck of the Estonia ferry, which sank in the Baltic Sea in 1994 with the loss of 852 lives in one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century. The MS Estonia was a passenger ferry that sank with over one thousand people aboard. 2. I started collecting additional material, including many many studies on maritime safety and the survival aspects (interestingly, the disaster is a large part of the evidence that men are far more likely to survive a maritime event than women), PTSD, indications of blasting on shipbuilding steel, Crisis Intervention in Finland and the human factors which link the Titanic, Estonia and Costa Concordia. 0 comments. You won’t be able to prove any of the thievery or prosecute on that, but you can deter them from going down to the ship in the first place. The position of the wreck is 59°22,9´ N, 21°41,0´ E. The visor was located about one nautical mile west of the wreck. save. I have the feeling that Mendel has this in mind when he put us on to the Wikipedia article. The MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea in 1994, killing 852 people. In Germany, not too many years ago, a badly inspected fishing vessel (there were holes cut in the deck that were just covered up for the inspection) sank in the mouth of the Weser river with the owner’s son on it; and when the investigation team finally managed to send divers down, the computers on the bridge were missing. A decision was made to instead sink MS Estonia with torpedoes. None of the survivors mentioned seeing any other vessel. What exactly caused the M/S Estonia passenger ferry to sink in 1994, causing 852 deaths from 17 countries? 852 people were clai… ;-) This took a political toll on the country which was only just beginning to find its feet after fifty years of Soviet occupation. Military shipments confirmed. An interesting article! Why Ships Sink does have a certain kind of ring to it…, Then perhaps the title should rather read “Why Planes Fall and Ships Sink?”. In the early hours of 28th September 1994, the MS Estonia, a car, and passenger ferry, en route from Tallinn to Stockholm, sank in the Baltic Sea off Finland’s coast. Many of the twentieth century's worst disasters occurred during wartime as a result of military action. Sweden to allow a new inspection of MS Estonia wreck (Text) Sweden seeks new probe of M/S Estonia ferry wreck after 25-year ban (Text) 2. However, two of the crew were Swedish nationals, including Henrik Evertsson, the director of the documentary. A prohibition on the grounds that the wreck is a grave and must not be disturbed is in my opinion not a really valid argument. Only 94 bodies were recovered of the 852 who lost their lives. Estonia in Viking Line Livery By Mark Markefelt (1918–2009) Maritime Museum [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsThe History of the MS Estonia. However, not all shipwrecks are as easy to explain. 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