Learning from marine Incidents II
13-14 March 2002
Censorship at the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, London


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Disaster Investigation
Lies and Truths about the 'Estonia' Accident
Short about the 'Estonia'
The independent Investigation by Heiwa Co
13 Lies about the Accident
The Wreck is mowing Visor on the Bottom Hole in the Collision Bulkhead
Six Phases of the Sinking
Impossible Sinking
Visor removed under Water
Corroded sewage tanks
Explosive Device at the Bow
The Royal Institution of Naval Architects censors Heiwa Co's Estonia paper
Björn von der Esch, MP
The false Plot
Open Starboard Pilot Door
False Stability Calculations
Dangerous Rescue Boats
The lying Crewmembers
Summary in English

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Estonia på svenska ! 

On 13-14 March 2002 the conference of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, the Marine Accident Investigation Board and the Nautical Institute about

Learning from marine Incidents II

took place at London. See the program! The printed program with invitation to attend was sent out early February to several thousands interested parties and included a paper by Heiwa Co. 14 March, 14.30-15.05 hrs. Read the paper! The program was also published on the Internet.

On 22 February 2002 the organizers informed Heiwa Co -

"I have been contacted by the Reviewing Committee regarding your paper, they have informed me that while your paper has considerable merits and could prove valuable they are concerned that the second half of your paper constitutes attacks on people rather than processes and for that reason in its current form they feel unable to accept it".

Heiwa Co requested information about, e.g. the persons of the Reviewing Committee and what items of the paper constituted attacks on people rather than processes and why the Reveiewing Committee felt unable to accept it. The second part was about - 2. IMO RES. A.637 (16) and A.849 (20) - but what does the second half refer to? Is it paragraphs 5.9 - 5.11 of the paper starting at page 7 (halfway)?


The 'Estonia' accident thus took place in September 1994 and the Final report [2] of the accident investigation was published in December 1997. Since then several attempts have been made to have the investigation re-opened to review new proven facts never examined by the official investigation.

On 20 September 1999 and 4 January 2000 the responsible Swedish minister, Ms Mona Sahlin, announced that there were no reasons for a new investigation. No new (sic) facts of sufficient value had been presented, in spite of the fact that 90% of the information in this paper was then known to Ms Sahlin.

On 16 March 2001 Ms Sahlin, after secret consultations with the heads of the political parties in the Swedish parliament, again announced that no new investigation was needed."Maybe some technicians together with some trustworthy laymen could review the new facts (including the ones in this paper?)," Ms Sahlin thought and the heads of the other political parties did not disagree.



The head of the Finnish investigators Mr Kari Lehtola added on Swedish television the night before, that the writer - duly named - of this paper was an amateur - 'completely unable to do a proper analysis of cause and event' and that it was worrying that he "should be able to overthrow the government of an independent state".

The writer has no intent to overthrow the Finnish government, but it is interesting to note the Lehtola remark about cause end event. Mr Lehtola and his colleagues in the Commission have stated that a lot of 'events' took place when the 'Estonia' sank, but for most of these alleged 'events' there is no proven or identified cause.


This paper is not about cause and event, but events ... and causes (and lessons not learnt).

Ms Sahlin and Mr Lehtola and the heads of the Swedish political parties were and are unfortunately not properly informed about the laws and codes for international maritime accident investigations, which Sweden, Finland and Estonia have adopted in the United Nations. UN-resolution IMO A.849 (20) and its Code for Investigations of Accidents and Incidents at Sea, paragraph 13, is clear: "When new evidence relating to any casualty is presented, it should be fully assessed and referred to other substantially interested States for appropriate input. In the case of new evidence which may materially alter the determination of the circumstances under which the marine casualty occurred, and may materially alter the findings in relation to its cause or any consequential recommendations, States should reconsider their findings."

It is as simple as that. The reason is of course that the safety at sea will be improved. The cost is minimal. If Mr Lehtola, who announced a false wreck position - believes that the writer is an amateur - "completely unable to do a proper analysis of cause and event" - he is kindly invited to prove it. Ms Sahlin cannot ignore in 2001 that new proven facts have been presented 1997-2001, which require a full new investigation - the alleged events disclosed by the Commission have different causes than concluded by the Commission or are physically impossible. In the United Kingdom several marine accident investigations ('Derbyshire', 'Gaul', 'Marchioness') have been formally re-opened (sometimes 10-15 years) later, when new facts have been presented. This has then resulted in real improvements to safety.

The only reply from the RINA was on 28 February 2002 -

"I apologise if it was not made 100% clear when your abstract was accepted that all conference papers are subject to a final review before inclusion in RINA conferences. I have forwarded your comments to the technical co-ordinator for the conference and await his response. However as matters stand at this time the RINA cannot accept your paper for publication or presentation at the conference".

In view of the fact that the organizers refused to inform who the persons of the Reviewing Committee were and what items constitued 'attacks on people' and why Heiwa Co decided not to attend the conference in spite of having made all the necessary arrangements.

On 19 March 2002 the organizers informed:

"You state that you were invited to speak at the conference. This is incorrect. You submitted an abstract of your proposed paper in response to the First Announcement and Call for Papers. Your abstract was accepted subject to review of the full paper. A comparison of the abstract (which was published in the provisional program before your paper was received) with the full paper attached to your email clearly shows that it gave no indication of the contentious elements in your paper".

Actually Heiwa Co had submitted a synopsis of the paper in November and had then been invited to submit the full paper as per a certain layout. There was no mention of a later review of the paper. The synopsis (or abstract) was not published in the (provisional - sic) program - it was the Summary of the full paper and the conference program was evidently the final one. Furthermore from the organizers, RINA:

"You state that your invitation to speak was withdrawn. This is incorrect. You will be aware that acceptance of an Abstract does not constitute a right of the author to present his paper, at any reputable conference. Your paper was reviewed, as were all other papers received, and it was considered that whilst it undoubtedly had considerable merit and contained elements which could prove valuable, the second half of the paper contained attacks on people rather than processes which were inappropriate to the subject of the conference. I believe that those who have had the opportunity to read your paper will concur with this view. I should also point out that the decision not to accept your paper was made by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects, and not by the MAIB or the Nautical Institute".

Heiwa Co considers it very strange that thousands of invitations are sent out to attend the Conference with a program indicating a Heiwa Co paper which had been submitted in January and that it is later removed from the program. Furthermore from the organizers:

"You state that you sought clarification but none was given. This is incorrect. I refer you to our emails of 28 Feb, 1 and 8 March, in which we re-iterated the reasons for not accepting your paper".

Heiwa Co has still not received any information about the Reviewing Committee and what items of the paper were considered inapproproate and why. Furthermore from the organizers:

"You state that your "speech" was censored by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects. This is incorrect, and indeed is an unworthy accusation to make against an internationally renowned professional institution, and one which has given much space in its journals for such views on the Estonia incident to be expressed. The Institution recognises and respects your right to hold the views you do, and to express them in the proper forum. The "Learning from Marine Incidents" conference was not a proper forum".

The fact is that the Synopsis submitted in November was accepted as Heiwa Co was invited to prepare the full paper (speech) according to certain rules, including writing a Summary. The original Summary of the Heiwa Co paper was not the one printed in the program/invitation - it was a modified - censored - version, which Heiwa Co accepted in retrospect.

On the same day (19 March 2002) of the above letter from the conference organizers The Times of London wrote in its editorial: 


Deceit is justified in wartime, rarely in peace

... Deception is the hallmark of good strategy. The general who misleads his opponents and take advantage of their confusion saves lives and wins battles. In every war, intelligence plays as great a role as armour. ... Deception must implicate not only the enemy but one's one side also. Many were the instances ... when official announcements covered up the truth, hid losses or mislead opinion.
The morality here is obvious: the arsenal of democracy must include poisonous words. The morality of peacetime deception is far less clear. Western intelligence routinely fed lies into the public domain for 40 years during the Cold War, hoping that the communists would fall for myths created by covert CIA funding ... The target of such deception were Western institutions themselves: newspapers, public organisations and even democratic institutions. The strategy was not only risky but counter-productive. Covert funding, if revealed, discredited the benficiary; false statements undermined public trust; lies, when exposed, provoked political cynicism. ...
And news management comes close to falsehood ...: spinning is now seen as not an adjunct to but an enemy of democracy. ... There are still obvious areas where truth is harmful. ... can all require categorical denial of what has been truthfully revealed or blurted out. ... The fight against terrorism is, of its nature, covert, deceptive and underhand. In all other battles democracies employ such methods only at hugh cost.

The Times of London has a good understanding of the situation. The truth of the Estonia accident cover-up cannot even be discussed at a joint RINA, Nautical Institute and Marine Accident Investigation Board conference in London about what we can learn from marine incidents. So the Heiwa Co paper has to be read on the Internet. It seems that the Swedish Board of Psychological Defence is in action again.

As of 28 May 2002 no further info has been given from RINA in spite of numerous assurances from the organization clerk that clarification will be given. Evidently the Royal Institution of Naval Architects is not interested in safety at sea and promotes censorship to this effect.

Back to 'Disaster Investigation'
Back to 'Lies and Truths about the M/V Estonia accident'
Back to Heiwa Co home page
To more info in English about the Estonia investigation

Prof. D Vassalos, FRINA, about M/S Estonia 2008 /Stratclyde University

Various Swedish FRINA about M/S Estonia 2008



Heiwa Co - European Agency for Safety at Sea


Up! Published 22 March 2002.