[28] The Swedish and Estonian governments subsequently launched separate investigations, which both confirmed that non-explosive military equipment was aboard the ship on 14 and 20 September 1994. The JAIC cited results from Germany's Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, which found that Jutta Rabe's samples did not prove an explosion occurred. Only 137 people survived the disaster. A thorough examination of the MS Estonia would have helped in construction of new ferries, where potential weaknesses would have been identified. Still missing are 757 persons. The bodies of these voyagers still lie within the vessel, completely decomposed, as the MS Estonia serves as an unorthodox crematorium.The disaster claimed 852 lives. The MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea in 1994, killing 852 people. The ship's 1994 sinking, in the Baltic Sea between Sweden, Åland, Finland and Estonia, was one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century. [33][34] [19] The first metallic bang was believed to have been the sound of the visor's lower locking mechanism failing, and subsequent noises were the visor 'flapping' against the hull as the other locks failed, before tearing free and exposing the bow ramp. [13] A mayday was communicated by the ship's crew at 01:22, but did not follow international formats. [5], Meyer Werft had constructed a large number of ships for various Viking Line partner companies during the 1970s. This investigation found a 4-metre hole in the ship's hull. Still missing are 757 persons. The radio operator on Silja Europa, chief mate Teijo Seppelin, replied in English: "Estonia, are you calling mayday?" The ship immediately took on a heavy starboard list (initially around 15 degrees, but by 01:30, the ship had rolled 60 degrees and by 01:50 the list was 90 degrees) as water flooded into the vehicle deck. Decks 2 and 3 were dedicated to the respective cargo. MS Estonia was a cruiseferry built in 1979/80 at the German shipyard Meyer Werft in Papenburg. A total of 852 people drowned when the passenger and car ferry sank in Finnish waters in the early hours of 28 September 1994 while en route from Tallinn to Stockholm, in Europe’s worst peacetime shipping disaster. Diving video 1. Authorities believe 996 people were aboard the Estonia when it sank on a voyage from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm. After a decision not to salvage the wreck or the bodies of the victims, the governments of Sweden, Estonia and Finland signed a treaty in 1995, where they agreed to designate the site of the wreck a final resting place and make it illegal for its citizens to disturb the site by diving down to it. The area where the Estonia sank, near the island of Uto, was declared a sea grave, and exploration of the wreck was prohibited. Demands were also made that the entire ship be raised so that the cause of the disaster could be discovered by detailed inspection. The MS Estonia consisted of 11 decks, counting from the lowest (0) to the highest (10). [5][6][8] Viking Sally was chartered to Rederi AB Slite to continue on her current traffic for the next three years.[5][6][8]. This is a modal window. A tragic accident, due to a combination of factors, including uneven loading of cargo, rough seas and ill advised behaviour (turning too fast) by the ship's captain. 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. After a decision not to salvage the wreck or the bodies of the victims, the governments of Sweden, Estonia and Finland signed a treaty in 1995, where they agreed to designate the site of the wreck a final resting place and make it illegal for its citizens to disturb the site by diving down to it. [20] The subsequent failure of the bow ramp allowed water into the vehicle deck, which was identified as the main cause of the capsizing and sinking:[19] RORO ferries with their wide vehicle decks are particularly vulnerable to capsizing if the car deck is even slightly flooded because of free surface effect: the fluid's swirling motion across such a large area hampers the boat's ability to right itself after rolling with a wave. [2] MRCC Turku failed to acknowledge the Mayday immediately and Mariella's report was relayed by Helsinki Radio as the less urgent pan-pan message. About 650 people were still inside the ship when it sank. This video was done not long after the disaster so the cabin is checked for bodies first, 852 people died and many bodies … In late 1987, Effoa and Johnson Line, the owners of Viking Line's main rivals Silja Line, bought Sally. [12][JAIC 2] Most of the passengers were Swedish, although some were of Estonian origin, while most of the crew members were Estonian. [34] The Estonia Agreement 1995, a treaty among Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Denmark, Russia and the United Kingdom, declared sanctity over the site, prohibiting their citizens from even approaching the wreck. In total, 94 bodies were recovered: 93 within 33 days of the accident, the last victim was found 18 months later. In addition, the disaster has inspired several musical works: It has been suggested that this article be, Cruise ferry which sunk on 28 September 1994, For the Russian American Line vessel operating from 1912 to 1949, see. As a result, the ship was actually registered in both Cyprus and Estonia. 852 lives were lost. [JAIC 2] The commission estimated that up to 310 passengers reached the outer decks, 160 of whom boarded the life-rafts or lifeboats.[17]. [29][30], On 28 September 2020 a Swedish documentary was released which used underwater equipment to film the wreck. [26] Members of the Joint Accident Investigation Commission denied these claims, saying that the damage seen on the debris occurred during the visor's detachment from the vessel. Nordic leaders have announced that they will examine evidence from a new television documentary that could shatter the official explanation of how 852 people died in a 1994 ferry sinking in the Baltic Sea. Painting of the sinking. ... A diving robot was lowered to the wreck and discovered a hole in the hull which was previously unknown. Seven over 55 years of age survived and there were no survivors under age 12. A diver with nerves of steel enters the wreck of the Estonia ferry that sank in 1994 to gather evidence for the investigation into it's sinking. At about 01:20, a quiet female voice called "Häire, häire, laeval on häire", Estonian for "Alarm, alarm, there is alarm on the ship", over the public address system, which was followed immediately by an internal alarm for the crew, then one minute later by the general lifeboat alarm. In normal airplane investigations, every last bit of wreckage is collected. [15] Tammes was able to provide some details about their situation but, due to a loss of power, he could not give their position, which delayed rescue operations somewhat. Trying to find it.-There were around 500 Swede bodies in the wreck but Swedish goverment instantly denied the retrival and all 3 involved countries did no attempt to get the bodies. Many of the twentieth century's worst disasters occurred during wartime as a result of military action. After that, the voice of third mate Andres Tammes took over on Estonia and the conversation shifted to Finnish. Just after midnight, in the first hour of September 28th, 1994, the passenger ferry MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea. Most died by drowning and hypothermia, as the water temperature was 10–11 °C/50–52 °F. Two bodies have subsequently been found in the area of the Gulf of Finland, one in the open sea and one on the shorelines of Estonia. [8] As a result of this, SF Line and Rederi AB Slite forced Sally to withdraw from Viking Line. [27], In the autumn of 2004, a former Swedish customs officer claimed on Sveriges Television that Estonia had been used to transport military equipment in September 1994. The actual ownership of the ship was rather complex, in order for Nordström & Thulin to get a loan to buy the ship. Passenger facilities were located on decks 6, 5, 4, 1, while the crew members occupied the decks 9 and 7. 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. Liskeard: Exposure. They opposed a refloating of the ship, in part because of the cost and logistics of raising the vast number of bodies trapped in the hull. Her name was changed to Wasa King and she served on routes connecting Vaasa, Finland to Umeå and Sundsvall in Sweden. This contributed to the rapid sinking. This is the worst disaster in the history of … Search and rescue followed arrangements set up under the 1979 International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (the SAR Convention), and the nearest Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre MRCC Turku coordinated the effort in accordance with Finland's plans. MS Estonia, sank 1994 baltic sea 852 people died. In total, 94 bodies were recovered: 93 within 33 days of the accident, the last victim was found 18 months later. Estonia. Recent explorations of the wreck site has found the "MS Estonia" lying on the side 240 feet down. As a result, documentary director Henrik Evertsson and another crew member were arrested following their examination of the site last September, and face up to two years’ imprisonment in Sweden for violating the sanctity of the gravesite. ... in part because of the cost and logistics of raising the vast number of bodies … However, not all shipwrecks are as easy to explain. Only 94 bodies were recovered of the 852 who lost their lives. [10], The Estonia disaster occurred on Wednesday, 28 September 1994, between about 00:55 and 01:50 (UTC+2) as the ship was crossing the Baltic Sea, en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. 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. ): CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, List of accidents and disasters by death toll, "Estonia shipwreck investigator and nautical linguist Captain Uno Laur dies", "Simplon Postcards: Viking Sally – Wasa King – Silja Star – Estonia", "Final report on the MV ESTONIA disaster of 28 September 1994", "Estonia final report. During this and several other dives by the same team, nearly 100 bodies were discovered in a fairly small section of the ship. (June 2009) "Failure Analysis of the Estonia.". The ship disappeared from the radar screens of other ships at around 01:50,[13] and sank at 59°23′N 21°42′E / 59.383°N 21.700°E / 59.383; 21.700 in international waters, about 22 nautical miles (41 km; 25 mi) on bearing 157° from Utö island, Finland, to the depth of 74 to 85 metres (243 to 279 ft) of water. Two bodies have subsequently been found in the area of the Gulf of Finland, one in the open sea and one on the shorelines of Estonia. From 1st to 4th December 1994 the wreck was examined by divers from Rockwater A/S Stavanger and by ROVs from Smit Tak, Rotterdam (parent company of Rockwater A/S) apparently contracted by the Swedish Sjöfarts-verket. [25], Alternative theories exist about the cause of the sinking. The area near the Finnish island of Utö was designated a sea grave, prohibiting further exploration of the wreckage. [37] The treaty is, however, only binding for citizens of the countries that are signatories. Diagram of the visor that failed. At the last moment, the company withdrew their order and the contract went to Rederi Ab Sally, one of the partners in the Viking Line consortium (SF Line, another partner in Viking Line, had also been interested in the ship). The windows gave way to the powerful waves as the ship listed and the sea reached the upper decks. The British government signed a treaty in 1995 making it illegal for anyone to dive down to the wreckage. This video was done not long after the disaster so the cabin is checked for bodies first, 852 people died and many bodies would still be inside the ship. When the ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise sank in the English Channel in 1987, it was refloated and the bodies removed. The ship M/S Estonia was en route from Tallinn to Stockholm when a storm ripped off the bow door. [5][6] It has been reported that the Wasa King was widely considered to be the best behaving ship in rough weather to have sailed from Vaasa. [5][6] The reason for this was that Silja's new ship for Helsinki–Stockholm service was built behind schedule and one of the Turku–Stockholm ships, Wellamo, was transferred to that route until the new ship was complete in November 1990. The bodies of these voyagers still lie within the vessel, completely decomposed, as the MS Estonia serves as an unorthodox crematorium. This prompted the Estonian prime minister and foreign minister to meet with their Swedish and Finnish equivalents and announce that a "new technical investigation" would take place. Instead of retrieving the bodies, the government of Sweden hired a Dutch marine salvage firm, Smit Tak BV, that specializes in neutralizing underwater nuclear waste, spending $350 million in a failed attempt to cover the ship in concrete. The report was critical of the crew's actions, particularly for failing to reduce speed before investigating the noises emanating from the bow, and for being unaware that the list was being caused by water entering the vehicle deck. Report to the Chancellor of Justice in Sweden, 12 September 2006, "1994: Hundreds feared dead in ferry disaster", "Chronological narrative of the sinking by City Paper", Estonian/Finnish/Swedish Accident Investigation Commission (JAIC) Final Report, YouTube: Complete radio conversations (audio), YouTube: MS Estonia - discovering the hole, Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in 1994, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=MS_Estonia&oldid=998872161, Articles with dead external links from October 2010, Articles needing additional references from October 2020, All articles needing additional references, Articles needing additional references from September 2017, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Lamento, for organ ("Lament over the Estonia Catastrophe") by, Johnson, Kent L. & Smith, Kenneth M.Jr. The Case Estonia – A journalist searching for the truth. [5], Originally the ship was conceived as a sister ship to Diana II, built in 1979 by the same shipyard for Rederi AB Slite, the third partner in Viking Line. This is the worst disaster in the history of … However, Evertsson said it was “absolutely essential and journalistically important” to send a camera down to the wreck. Map showing where divers observed bodies (2) Highlight from official report regarding diver's discovery of victims: [JAIC 6] While there was video monitoring of the inner ramp, the monitor on the bridge was not visible from the conning station. Of the 989 on board, 138 were rescued, one of whom died later in hospital. SOLAS 90, which came into effect in 2010, specifies existing passenger ships' stability requirements and those in North West Europe must also be able to survive 50 centimetres (20 in) of water on the car deck. Recommendations for modifications to be applied to similar ships included separation of the condition sensors from the latch and hinge mechanisms. Diving video 2 (bits of flesh seen floating around) Pictures: Screencaps of another simulation. 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. [5][6], As the largest Estonian-owned ship of the time, the Estonia symbolized the independence that Estonia regained after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As with many ships, Viking Sally suffered some mishaps during her Viking Line service, being grounded in the Åland Archipelago in May 1984 and suffering some propeller problems in April of the following year. A full-scale emergency was only declared at 02:30. 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