Den polska färjan 'Jan Heweliusz' kapsejsade i svårt väder den 14 januari 1993 i södra Östersjön och flöt sedan upp och ner i flera dagar - i ganska lugnt väder - innan hon sjönk en vecka senare.
En korrekt haveriutredning har aldrig gjorts (istället var det en helt förfalskad utredning som publicerades - liknande 'Estonia's) och sommaren 2002 har processen för en kompletterande utredning åter dragits igång - denna gång i Europadomstolen för mänskliga rättigheter (se nedan). Det är de polska änkorna efter drunknade sjömän och passagerare som kräver en ny eller kompletterande utredning. Det kan vara av intresse att veta vad svenska Sjöfartsverket anser om 'Jan Heweliusz's undergång:
By Anders Björkman
The Polish ferry 'Jan Heweliusz' capsized during severe weather on 14 January 1994 in the south Baltic and was then floating upside down for several days - in rather calm weather - before she sank a week later.
A correct accident investigation has never been done as per international law and the IMO resolutions (instead various completely falsified investigation were published - similar to the 'Estonia's) and during the summer 2002 the process to make a reveiw of new findings has started - this time in the European Court of Human Rights (see below). The Polish widows of the dead seamen and passengers demand a new investigation. It is interesting to know what the Swedish Maritime Administration has to say about the sinking of the 'Jan Heweliusz':
'Jan Heweliusz' kantrade inte på grund av lastförskjutning! Hon blåste ikull!
"Fartyget var på nordgående i Södra Östersjön och råkade ut för kraftig västlig vind, som till slut ökade till upp emot 50 m/sek, vida mer än samtliga väderleksrapporters prognoser.
'Jan Heweliusz' did not list due to shifting cargo. She was blown upside down!
"The ship was on a northerly course in the South Baltic and was subject to strong westerly wind, which in the end was up to 50 m/sec, much more than foreseen by any weather report.
Lögnerna 1993 och 2000 om 'Jan Heweliusz' liknar lögnerna om 'Estonia' 1994-2002
Naturligtvis blåser inte en färja med deplacement 5 260 ton (och GM 0,8 meter) omkull (sic), även om den ballastas fel, som Sjöfartsverket hävdar. En färja har två typer av vattenballast. En fylls i en krängtank i sidan ovanpå dubbelbotten och den kan användas, dels att balansera ojämn lastning, dels att balansera krängning, pga sidvind. Denna ballast, max cirka 250 ton på 'Jan Heweliusz', kan kränga fartyget cirka åtta grader.
Sedan finns det ballast i dubbelbotten - cirka 800 ton. Den används för att öka stabiliteten (och djupgåendet) när färjan är olastad (i ballast) eller när man enbart lastar passagerare på övre däck. Fyller man enbart ena sidans ballasttankar i dubbelbotten kan man maximalt kränga färjan fyra grader. Den värsta kombination man kan tänka sig - fylld krängtank och fyllda dubbelbottentankar på ena sidan kan maximalt kränga fartyget cirka 10 grader - eftersom stabiliteten samtidigt ökar med ballast nere i botten.
The Lies 1993 and 2000 of the 'Jan Heweliusz' are similar to the Lies of the 'Estonia' 1994-2002
Evidently a ferry with displacement 5 260 tonnes (and GM 0,8 meter) cannot be blown upside down (sic), even if it were wrongly ballasted, as the Swedish NMA suggests. A ferry has two types of water ballast. One type is loaded in a heeling tank above the double bottom and it is used to counter uneven cargo loading in port and listing due to side wind at sea. This ballast, maximum about 250 tonnes on the 'Jan Heweliusz', can heel the ship about eight degrees.
Then there are tanks for water ballast in the double bottom - about 800 tonnes. It is used to increase stability (and draught) when the ferry is not loaded (in ballast) or when only passengers are carried on the upper decks. If you only ballast the tanks on one side in the double bottom, the ferry will maximum list four degrees. The worst combination you can imagine - a full heeling tank and filled ballast tanks on one side - can only heel the ship about 10 degrees, as stability increases when you put ballast in the bottom.
Och naturligtvis kapsejsar inte ett fartyg om GZ-max passeras! GZ är ett mått på den upprätande hävarmen vid olika slagsidevinklar. Ett fartyg kapsejsar bara när GZ<0! 'Jan Heweliusz' hade positiv GZ upp till >50° graders slagsida med intakt överbyggnad (då däckshuset kommer under vatten och överbyggnaden vattenfylls från öppna däck), medan GZ-max (>0.5 meter) uppträdde vid 25-45 graders slagsida. Det innerbar att 'Jan Heweliusz' alltid skulle räta upp sig, om hon rullade 45 grader! GZ-max (vid cirka 25 graders krängning) har inget med ett fartygs förmåga att motstå kapsejsning att göra. Så länge som GZ>0 rätar hon alltid upp sig och GZ var >0,5 meter upp till krängvinklar på 45-50 grader. Och en vind på 50 m/sekund kan aldrig kränga en påstått felballastad färja med 10 graders slagsida ytterligare 35-40 grader. Men det hävdar Sjöfartsverkets haveriutredare Sten Anderson utan att blinka - med de gamla vanliga vilseledningsmetoderna, t.ex. att ett fartyg kapsejsar, när GZ-max passeras (sic).
And evidently a ship does not capsize when you reach and pass GZ-max. GZ is a measure of the righting arm (bringing the ship upright) at different angles of list. A ship only capsizes when GZ<0! The 'Jan Heweliusz' had a positive GZ up to >50° degrees list with intact superstructure (the deck house comes under water at 50° list and then the superstructure may be flooded from open deck), while GZ-max (>0.5 meter) is reached already at 25-45 degrees list. It means that the 'Jan Heweliusz' always would upright when she rolled 45 degrees! The GZ-max (at about 25 degrees listing) has nothing to do with a ships ability to withstand capsize. As long as GZ>0 the vessel always uprights and GZ was >0,5 meters up until angles of list of 45-50 degrees. And a wind force of 50 m/sec cannot list an allegedly wrongly ballasted ferry with a list of 10 degrees another 35-40 degrees. But this is what the Swedish NMA accident investigator Sten Anderson states without shame - with the usual old methods of disinformation, e.g. that a vessel capsizes, when GZ-max is exceeded (sic).
Det är ju tvärtom - vid slagsida med GZ-max är motståndet (det rätande momentet) mot kapsejsning maximalt. Men med skadad överbyggnad hade 'Jan Heweliusz' mycket liten GZ och kunde knappast kränga 15° utan att kapsejsa. Och det var det hon gjorde.
It is just the opposite - at a listing with GZ-max (say at 25-35 degrees), the resistance (the righting moment) against capsize is maximum. But with a damaged superstructure the 'Jan Heweliusz' had a very small GZ and could hardly list 15° without capsize. And this is what happened.
Det finns ingen möjlighet att en vindby på 50 m/sekund kränger en lastad färja med intakt överbyggnad 25 grader! Men det stämmer att en färja flyter upp och ned efter att ha kapsejsat, pga t.ex. vatten i överbyggnaden. Undervattenskrovet är ju oskadat! På bilder t.h. ser vi just hur 'Jan Heweliusz' flyter upp och ner dagarna efter olyckan, då det inte blåser 50 m/sekunden längre.'Estonia' borde ha flutit så, om hon hade krängts upp och ner pga vatten på bildäcket i överbyggnaden och skrovet var oskadat!
Precis som 'Joola' 27 september 2002.
Numera ligger 'Jan Heweliusz' med babordssidan mot havsbotten på 25 meters djup cirka 25 kilometer rakt öster om Rügen/Sassnitz. Hon är ett populärt mål för amatördykare. Men innan dessa satte igång att dyka, har hon sannolikt sprängts sönder under vatten av olika vrakplundrare.
Vågorna rullar över 'Jan Heweliusz' uppochnervända skrov när hon flöt efter olyckan.
There is no way that a sudden wind of 50 m/sec lists a loaded ferry with intact superstructure 25 degrees. But it correct that a ferry floats upside down after capsize, due e.g. to water loaded inside the superstructure. The underwater hull remains undamaged, and the ship floats on it, albeit upside down. On the pictures left you see how the 'Jan Heweliusz' floats upside down the days after the accident when the wind was not blowing 50 m/sec any longer.
Just like the 'Joola' 27 September 2002.
At present the 'Jan Heweliusz' lies with the port side against the sea floor at 25 meters depth about 25 kilometers East of Rügen/Sassnitz. She is a popular object for amatuer divers. But before these persons started diving, the wreck has probably been blasted to pieces under water by wreck plunderers.
Hela däckshuset har lossnat och lasten på övre däck ligger utspridd på botten. Inne på bildäck, dvs i garaget under övre däck, finns fortfarande 12 lastbilar och 10 järnvägsvagnar som vilar mot babordssidan.
Det är intressant att notera att akterrampen som skulle hålla överbyggnaden tär saknas på vraket! Akterrampen befinner sig cirka 700 meter från vraket, dvs föll av innan färjan sjönk.
The complete deck house is lose and the cargo on the upper deck is spread on the sea floor. Inside the main deck, i.e. the deck inside the superstructure below the upper deck, there are still 12 trucks and 10 railway wagons (770 tons of weight) resting against the port inner side.
It is interesting to note that the aft ramp to keep the superstructure tight is missing from the wreck. The aft ramp is located 700 meters from the wreck, i.e. it fell off before the ferry finally sank.
Om akterrampen verkligen var surrad och låst, när olyckan skedde, borde den naturligtvis ha hängt kvar på vraket, men det verkar alltså som om akterrampen trillade av. Kanske rampen öppnades i det svåra vädret och vatten kom in på bildäcket ovan vattenlinjen och krängde 'Jan Heweliusz' upp och ner?
Det är naturligtvis mycket lätt att bärga 'Jan Heweliusz' och konstatera den verkliga olycksorsaken. Babordssidan ligger mot botten och borde vara oskadad - speciellt om lasten var surrad när hon hamnade på botten - enligt Sten Anderson. Men det finns uppgifter att en järnvägsvagn kom loss i det svåra vädret och tryckte sönder babords sida i överbyggnaden inifrån. Babordssidan var i lovart, vatten kom in i överbyggnaden och krängde 'Jan Heweliusz' snabbt upp och ner! Besättningen ballastade aldrig fartyget eller ändrade kurs. Varför man inte kunnat meddela det är ett mysterium. Varför tro en ljugande besättning. Att last inte surras ordentligt är vanligt och det kan leda till slagsida. Slår lös last (en 40 tons järnvägsvagn!) sönder överbyggnaden från insidan (det är bara tunn 8 mm plåt), kan det leda till kapsejsning, när vattnet kommer in i överbyggnaden (vilket ju är en påstådd bidragande orsak till Estoniaolyckan, fast då kom vattnet in vid rampen (sic)). Men nu skyllde polackerna på vädret och 50 m/sekund vind (vem mätte den?) - och att sjömansmässig (hm) ballastning och litet otur - ledde till kapsejsning. Och att lasten var surrad ordentligt. Och överbyggnaden och skrovet och akterrampen intakta!
Men det tror inte de polska änkorna. Lycka till i Europadomstolen. Och tack för att ni avslöjat Sten Anderson som antingen en inkompetent haveriutredare, som inte vet ett dyft om färjestabilitet, eller en notorisk lögnare, som ljuger om alla haverier i Östersjön för att skydda Sjöfartsverket. För hade inte Sjöfartsverket gjort hamnstatskontroller av 'Jan Heweliusz' strax innan olyckan?
'Jan Heweliusz' i Europadomstolen för mänskliga rättigheter
Den 16 januari 2003 behandlade Europadomstolen för mänskliga rättigheter 'Jan Heweliusz'. Det var rena skämtet och massmedia rapporterade ingenting som vanligt:
If the aft ramp was actually locked, when the accident took place, it should of course still be fixed to the wreck, but it seems as if the the aft ramp came lose. Maybe the ramp was opened in the severe weather and water flooded the main deck above waterline and made the 'Jan Heweliusz' capsize upside down?
It is of course very easy to salvage the 'Jan Heweliusz' and to find out the real cause of accident (water inside the breached superstructure). The port side lies against the sea floor and appears undamaged - as the cargo was lashed when the sank - according Sten Anderson. But there is information to the effect that a railway wagon came lose in the severe weather and pushed the port superstructure side open from inside. The port side was then against the wind, water thus entered into the superstructure and the weight of the water heeled quickly the 'Jan Heweliusz' upside down? The crew never ballasted the ship or changed course. Why this has not been informed is a mystery. Why believe a lying crew. That cargo is not properly lashed occurs and it can cause listing. If lose cargo (a 40 ton railway wagon) damages the superstructure side from inside (it is only thin 8 mm plate), it will cause capsize when the water enters the superstructure space. Of course, bad repairs of the superstructure/deck house after a fire 1986 aboard could have contributed to the accident. But now the Poles blamed the whole accident on the weather, 50 m/s, and bad luck (faulty ballasting). And they suggest that the superstructure was intact and that the aft ramp was locked.
But this the Polish widows do not believe. Good luck in the European Court of Human Rights. And thanks for having shown that Sten Anderson is an incompetent accident investigator, who doesn't know anything about ships' stability, or is a notoric lier that lies about all accidents in the Baltic to protect the Swedish NMA. Because didn't the Swedish NMA make a Port State Control inspection of the 'Jan Heweliusz' just before the accident?
'Jan Heweliusz' in the European Court of Human Rights
On 16 January 2003 the ECHR was debating the case. It was a joke and media didn't report anything as usual:
Brudnicka v. Poland (application no. 54723/00)
"The 11 applicants are the parents and widows of sailors who perished in the shipwreck of the 'Jan Heweliusz'. On 14 January 1993 the Jan Heweliusz, which was owned by the Polskie Linie Oceaniczne company and operated by the Euroafrica company, sank in the Baltic Sea, causing the death of 55 people. Judicial proceedings were instituted in order to establish the causes [plural] of this maritime disaster, and on 11 January 1994 the Admiralty Division of the Szczecin Regional Court (Izba Morska przy Sadzie Wojewódzkim) held that liability lay with (A) the ships captain and (B) technical crew, (C) the Polish Shipping Registry (which had checked the condition of the ship before the accident) and (D) the rescue services. [Imagine that the rescue services caused the disaster ... what ever it was!!]
Simple Facts about Jan Heweliusz - and why she capsized!
The vessel was about 125.6 meters long with a breadth of about 17.0 meters. Her maximum draught was 4.31 m but it was less at the accident as she was then not fully loaded. The depth of the hull to the main (rail) deck was 6.0 m. The hull below the main deck was subdivided by at least 9 water tight bulkheads. She was a one-compartment ship - one watertight compartment could be flooded in collision without the ship sinking.
On top of the hull was a <125 meters long weathertight superstructure protecting the main (rail) deck where railways wagons were loaded. This superstructure was 6 meters high and covered by the upper -weather - deck, which was thus 12.0 m above the keel. This very big superstructure added enormous buouyancy to the ship, if it was intact, when the ferry was rolling in severe weather. In theory the vessel could roll or heel >70° before she would capsize.
Cargo - trucks - was also loaded on the weather deck protected by a front bulkhead and by plated sides, but this deck house structure did not provide any extra buouyancy when the ship was heeling as it was open at the aft end.
Some small (ventilation) openings on the top of the superstructure may have been submerged, when the ship was listing >53° and water may have entered the ship that way unless the openings were closed. But if the ship was only rolling or heeling due to severe weather and temporary strong wind gusts, she would have uprigthted quickly (due to the buouyancy of the superstructure).
In fact - the 'Jan Heweliusz' could only have capsized as she did when sea water had entered on the main - rail deck of the superstructure.
This water would be extra weight - water cargo! - loaded on the main deck and it would immediately have flowed to the lowest point at the side; >1 000 tons of water would have turned the vessel upside down. After that the vessel would float upside down - which she did.
The ship owner and the crew are of course responsible that water cannot enter the superstructure through, e.g. the aft ramp, port holes in the side and ventilators on the upper - weather - deck. In turn the Polish Maritime administration was responsible to ensure at annual Load Line surveys that the weathertightness of the superstructure was in order.
The Polish accident investigations never verified if the superstructure of the Jan Heweliusz was intact at the accident! Heiwa Co simply assumes that the superstructure weathertighness was breached - probably from inside by lose, unsecured cargo - and that water entered the superstructure through this opening in the side ... and would not flow out as it collected in another area ... until the extra water inside the superstructure turned the ship upside down. Such accidents are quite frequent ... mostly fishing vessels though.
But the general public is ignorant about these basic facts. They believe big, virtually unsinkable ferries are blown upside down by wind gusts, etc. and that ferries are not designed to withstand wind gusts! Of course, what shall they believe when the Swedish National Maritime administrations repeats such nonsense?
R E P O R T
Date: 6 December 2003
To: all it may concern
From: Marek Blus, freelance journalist
RE: foundering of the Polish ferry "Jan Heweliusz" (14 January 1993) and the following investigations
The issues are whether real and legal actions taken after
foundering of the ferry 'Jan Heweliusz' were and are fair,
impartial and made in good faith.
1.1. ISSUE No. 1
How many drowned persons' bodies have been recovered during Search and Rescue (SAR) operation on 14-15 January 1993?
All official reports state number 38.
1.2. ISSUE No. 2
Was any other ship in the place of the disaster? And, does exist any eye witness of capsizing of the 'Jan Heweliusz'?
All official reports say: NO.
1.3. ISSUE No. 3
On trials in December 1993 the ferry was found 112 tons heavier when originally built. During all formal investigations a reason and a place of additional weight were presented as an "insoluble mystery".
What is the secret in that case?
1.4. ISSUE No. 4
The deceased master's wife didn't defend her husband during proceedings in the maritime courts. She didn't join the 'Jan Heweliusz' Widows and Families Association and she didn't also join an application brought by seafarers' families to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Why is she so passive?
2. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS
2.1. ISSUE No. 1
Most probably 41 or 40 bodies have been recovered during SAR operation instead of 38 bodies officially recorded. Probably 2 or 3 bodies of Swedish and/or Hungarian drivers were "missed" after they were landed. "Missed" bodies had heavy mutilations (i.e. lost legs, hands).
2.2 ISSUE No. 2
The German motor vessel "Frank Michael" was in the site of disaster. At last one man, an officer of watch, has seen the sinking ferry.
2.3. ISSUE No. 3
Main part of the additional weight is a layer of reinforced concrete on the boat deck (the accommodation deck which is situated 17 meters over the bottom of the ship). Concrete has been put on during repairs after fire in 1986. This technique is illegal in every aspect and in every result.
2.4. ISSUE No. 4
The master's wife was blackmailed into passivity with documents which disclose that Capt. A. Ulasiewicz, a master of the ferry, was forbidden to drive any vehicle (including motor ships) after a car accident in which his skull was broken.
3.1. On January 14, 1993 the ferry "Jan Heweliusz" owned
by the state enterprise Polish Ocean Lines (POL) and
operated by the Euroafrica Co. Ltd capsized and sunk in the
Baltic Sea about 16 miles East of the German island
3.2. Five independent proceedings were instituted in order to establish the causes and circumstances of the disaster:
3.2.1. By a specially established Government Commission
presided by a Deputy Prime Minister W. Laczkowski. Among the
The Commission never submitted any report which has been asked by the establishing order issued by a Prime Minister Ms. H. Suchocka.
3.2.2. By a specially established Commission of the
Ministry of the Transport presided by a Deputy Minister
Capt. Z. Sulatycki. Among the members are:
The Commission prepared the report which blamed the weather but pointed also that hide cause can be in the bad work of anti-heeling ballast tanks.
3.2.3. By the specially established commission of the National Labor Inspectorate which prepared report in three grades. The report blamed the master, the chief officer and the ship owner POL.
3.2.4. By the prosecutor office in Gdansk - it discontinued a legal proceeding and blamed nobody. In fact the prosecutor did not investigate the disaster but he collected a huge bulk of documents which never be produced before the maritime courts.
3.2.5. By the maritime courts:
I - the Maritime Court in Szczecin on 11 January 1994 laid emphasis on the force of the storm and held that liability lay on the master, the chief officer and the chief engineer; the decision was undersigned by six judges so it was invalid and was cancelled ex officio by the Maritime Court of Appeal
II - the Maritime Court in Gdynia on 23 February 1996 held that the master and the chief officer had been partly responsible and found the operator company Euroafrica "guilty" for failing to undertake the necessary repair work
III - the Maritime Court of Appeal on 26 January 1999 partly overturned the decision exempting the operator company from liability.
3.2.6. In January 2000 the group of deceased seafarers' widows and parents brought an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They argue that the "Jan Heweliusz" case was not heard by impartial and independent tribunals. They submit that evidence have been concealed, were not heard from certain witnesses. They complain the assessors in the benches were retired employees of the operator and of the owner etc. (the case No. 54723/00, title: Brudnicka and others v. Poland).
On 16 January 2003 the Chamber of the ECHR issued a decision on admissibility of the application, which end a formal phase of the proceedings in Strasbourg.
4.1. Issue No. 1
4.1.1. Formal reports state that 38 bodies have been recovered from the sea and landed:
a/ in Germany:
b/ in Poland:
grand total: 38 bodies.
1 body of a Czech driver was immediately taken from
Germany to Czech Republic by a family,
All 37 bodies transferred to Poland bodies have been examined post-mortem. All protocols of examinations are "clean" - no one mentions any serious injury.
18.104.22.168. Concerning number of bodies
a/ Many Polish newspapers published greater number of
b/ In the prosecutor files is a copy of a report by Minister A. Milczanowski written and sent on the evening of 14 Jan; the report mentions 39 bodies. At that moment Milczanowski's staff didn't know about 2 bodies left overnight on Polish ships.
c/ In prosecutor files is a private log written during
the SAR operation by a radio operator of the Polish ferry
"Jan Sniadecki". He put in only times and number of bodies
lowered to the deck of the ferry. But two entries are much
The following research give more information:
The issue and the evidence never have been allowed and examined by maritime courts ex officio and never posed by the parties.
22.214.171.124. Concerning injures of bodies
a/ many Polish newspapers and magazines published information about serious injures of bodies, for example a spokeswomen of the Ministry of the Transport told to the daily 'Zycie Warszawy' about "bodies massacred by the storm" (the word 'body' repeated in plural in all information).
b/ but in that issue there are many official
(original: " laut Besatzung R 8950 muss es an Bord der verunglückten Fähre eine Explosion gegeben haben, da einige der Leichen schwere Brandverletzungen, Verstummelungen oder Gliedmassenabrisse aufweisen.")
II - flight reports by Polish pilots filled in forms of
the PSC, for example, the report by capt. Fijal, first pilot
of the helicopter 0506, describes a body bound with a rope
to a life raft :
III - evidence given by witnesses heard by Polish
military prosecutors, for instance lt. 2 grade R. Zawada,
second pilot, says:
The issue and the evidence never have been allowed and examined by maritime courts ex officio and never posed by the parties.
- in the copies of above mentioned report by the German
Navy bound to Polish files the passage "
out.." is wiped off (discolored) and not translated to
126.96.36.199. Concerning transportation of bodies
a/ In Polish press is only one news regarding an
additional way not mentioned in formal reports:
b/ in prosecutor files is a set of reports about the "Jan Heweliusz" SAR operation, including flight reports, assembled by the Polish Navy. The set include the report No. 43 from flight of the helicopter 1016 which has taken place on 16 Jan., the day after the SAR operation was completed (report No. 42 relates to last flight on 15 Jan., report No. 44 is a copy of logbook of naval tug R-13)
The report No. 43 include some odd information:
The following research brings more information:
Special oddities were:
188.8.131.52. Other evidence
I - In prosecutor files there are some pictures of damaged immersion suits with long cuts, cracks etc. and are formal records of eye-examination of that suits.
II - German pilots told many times to TV-cameras about injured bodies and about many torn limbs floating in the site of SAR operation.
III - Ferry fireman's widow has seen her husband's fingers during burial ceremony. The nails were torn out, skin and soft tissues have been lost, the bones of fingers were visible.
IV - In October 1980, during naval exercises, an unknown naval ship rammed and sunk the fishing boat SWI-3, she didn't stop and didn't undertake any action. All three fishermen perished. One body has been recovered during a SAR operation, the second has been found six months later on a beach close to city Koszalin. The body, which was recognized, was buried secretly and all files concerned were destroyed. During "revolution" 1989/90 some offices "washed" their drawers and an investigation office sent a skull of this fisherman to the police in Koszalin. One police officer was able to cope with a mystery of the skull and informed the family.
The above mentioned issues and the evidence never have been allowed and examined by maritime courts ex officio and never posed by the parties.
It is a bulk of circumstantial evidence connected in logical order that a number of bodies recovered was more than 38, most probably 41.
A story appears like that:
Injured bodies formed a hypothesis that the cause of the disaster was an explosion on board. It has been decided to hide the hypothesis and all "hot" evidence. German pilots were ordered to deliver all injured bodies to the air-station in Parow. Then German authorities wanted to remove "the missing" from their country. The false SAR operation was arranged to cover the flight of Polish helicopter to Parow. Next wrongdoings followed like links in a chain: "the missing" were buried as "the unknown" (or cremated), all serious wounds were erased from post-mortem records, all presumptive evidence for the explosion like destroyed immersion suits were hided forever. Prosecutors and judges were instructed to turn a blind eye to all documents and facts which disclose the events.
Until now 10 persons are on missing list: 4 Polish, 3 Swedish and 3 Hungarian citizens. Bearing in mind that only 7 Swedes and 5 Hungarians were on the ferry statistically most probably Swedish and/or Hungarian nationals are among "the missing" after recovery.
4.2. ISSUE No 2
Formal reports stated that neither a ship was in the vicinity of the sinking ferry nor a person sighted the "Jan Heweliusz" in the disastrous phase of the voyage.
4.2.1. THE STORY
During the night 13/14 Jan. 1993 radio communication messages from the site of disaster have been recorded on magnetic tapes by four coast radio stations: Rügen Radio, Arkona Radio, Rönne Radio (in fact Lyngby Radio) and Stockholm Radio (by remote controlled station in Skane).
Only the German maritime administration has sent copies of two tapes recorded in the station Rügen Radio. They were recorded on the special tape recorder made in Hungary called SHR-208. In February 1993 the tapes was delivered to the Maritime Court in Szczecin. Polish investigators didn't ask any institution abroad for any evidence of such kind.
The tapes were not allowed and examined by the maritime courts in Szczecin and in Gdynia and never posed by the parties.
After the trial in the Maritime Court in Gdynia was completed I was allowed to read the court files. Reading the list of items transferred from one court to another I have found an entry about two tapes. So I asked a judge Mr. Kuczorski why he didn't examine that evidence? He answered he couldn't find a tape recorder of the class needed. He told me also that he searched for it in places like a private broadcasting station, a youth club with radio laboratory and radio workshop. He didn't mention a police laboratory. He showed me the tape which was cut for two pieces and explained that he cut it because he tried to use a common recorder to read. So I asked if I will find the recorder SHR-208, may I read the tape? He agreed but he forbade me to search in any agency of the Ministry of the Interior.
I found an unused SHR-208 in an ambulance station in Gdansk, I provided also the service and assistance of one technician. Judge Kuczorski delivered the tape to the station and we read most important part of the record (about 40 minutes) and we recorded it on our voice recorders.
I have made the transcript and delivered it for judge Kuczorski and to be sure for two assessors (lay judges) but no one copy was bound to the files.
The record discloses that many facts were hided or falsified and that witnesses made false oral evidence (but it is an another story and many other issues).
The record shows that two persons on two ships send messages which include navigation positions of ships:
- a master of "Jan Heweliusz" told (in Polish) to his colleague from the ferry "Silesia" that his last position was: distance 16 miles (+ X tenths of a mile) and bearing 260-280 deg. to the cape Kollicker Ort (the message is partly destroyed but it can be reconstructed on basis of the oral evidence given by 3-th deck officer of "Jan Heweliusz")
- an officer of watch of the German cargo vessel "Frank Michael" told (in German) to the coast radio station: "Arkona Radio, I am 17 miles East of Kollicker Ort".
(Positions are almost the same but in Polish it is expressed by the "own bearing" - from the ship to the navigational object; in German, on the contrary, by the "foreign bearing" - from the object to the ship.)
An officer from "Frank Michael" told also two unclear statements which show that he saw the sinking ferry, for instance he used in a message "key" words: Mayday Relay (it means: other - not mine - ship is in distress).
Master's communicate about position is incomplete because a signal partly "declined". In-deep research explains that the tape was delivered to criminologist laboratory in Warsaw, it was read and understood. Then a team of "investigators" decided that the tape couldn't be allowed before the court in its original form. They tried to "correct" the record by erasing part of a magnetic layer. Firstly, they wanted to remove the message sent by a master of the ferry but they found the procedure is to hard and unsatisfactory. They changed their mind and the tape come back to Szczecin, but a judge Wunsch, who presided the Maritime Court, received an order to made every effort and every trick to hide the tape.
I have disclosed partly the history of the tape in December 1997 in a local daily two days before first hearing of the Maritime Court of Appeal (in Gdynia). Plan for all sittings didn't include the problem of the "new" evidence.
Judge Mr. Chmielewski who presided the Court of Appeal immediately fell ill and the trial was postponed. On 15 Jan. 1998 the prosecutor sent the tape to a private (!) criminologist laboratory for a professional transcript.
The transcript was ready in May 1998, was allowed and partly examined. It had many mistakes and omissions. The sentence: " wir sind 17 Mile ostlich Kollicker Ort" which follow the call "Arkona Radio " was also omitted. Judge Chmielewski send back the transcript to the laboratory for corrections. But he clearly marked in red ink the places, sentences and passages which shall be corrected. The "empty" call "Arkona Radio " was not marked and left uncorrected.
So two messages including information about the same position disappeared from the transcript.
Transcript of conversation between masters of Polish ferries:
(local time about 05.48)
"Silesia": - Jan Heweliusz - Silesia. Czy moglby
pan podac pozycje? My jestesmy na zachod 22 mile od Arkony,
tak ze okolo (...) mil od Pana.
Translation: "S": - Jan Heweliusz - Silesia. Could you give me the position? We are 22 miles West of Arkona, so about ( ) miles of you. "H": - ( ) my last position, which I made wa( ) sixt( ) ( )ty degrees ( ) "S": - Yes, I understand.
Transcript of a conversation between officer (OOW) from "Frank Michael" and Coast Radio Station (CRS):
OOW: - Mayday Relay Frank Michael, Mayday Relay Frank
Michael - Arkona Radio.
(All participants broke the rules established by Radio Regulations; the statements of the OOW were very unclear and the operator of the CRS didn't understand the meaning of words like " in der Nähe ").
At least one person has seen the sinking ferry from the
bridge of "Frank Michael". Hypothetically he is an
undesirable eye witness due to one or two reasons:
4.3. ISSUE No. 3
Getting older ships, like men, put on weight. So ships, specially taking all cargo over the main deck, shall be carefully checked and tested like airplanes. Two factors shall be exactly known to the crew and to other parties: the weight of light (empty) ship and the height of her center of gravity.
4.3.1. THE STORY
In 1986 the "Jan Heweliusz" caught a fire and her superstructure was partly destroyed. The shipyard Blohm &Voss in Hamburg won contract for repairs. A cheapest technique was selected which means only burnt sections were replaced. After the steel work was completed the boat deck was not flat so finishing work inside the accommodations seemed impossible to conduct.
The solution was found to help with a layer of concrete put on the deck. It is said that 30 tons of concrete was used.
The repairs were supervised by a surveyor of the classification society Polish Register of Ships. The head office of the PRS ordered him to check the stability of the ferry by a heeling experiment. It is a regulation which require such test if sum of masses cut off and added to the ship construction exceeds six per cent (6 %) of the weight of a light ship. This sum in the case of repairs of "Jan Heweliusz" rose over six per cent also if a concrete is not included. The order by the head office of the PRS had been ignored and never executed.
Except the order in the written form and a survey final report I wasn't be able to find any document or any other "hard" evidence to the issue.
Only one way exist to check the rumors - a research of the wreck. Amateur divers questioned in the matter sad they didn't see the superstructure for years. It disappeared and in the place of the boat deck exist only a big hole.
Diver Tomasz Stopyra, organizer of excursions to the wreck site, volunteered to cooperate. In 2002/2003 I traveled with Polish amateur scuba divers for one day dive-excursions. Firstly, Stopyra and others made the search for the superstructure. It has been found laying on the sea bottom about 15 m from the hull. It is overturned upside down and broken to pieces.
Following searches done by divers bring more information: in some cracks the deck was measured up to 7 cm, broken plates of the concrete separated from the deck have been located.
On 12 August 2002 divers T. Stopyra and T. Baczkowski recovered the plate weighting about 45 kilos from the mid ship section, most probably from the galley.
On 2 August 2003 diver A. Chorazewski broke off and recovered two pieces of concrete from the plate jammed between pieces of the deck, most probably from the passenger messroom.
On 19 September 2003 divers A. Chorazewski and R. Golebiowski attempted to recover a plate about 40 kilos in weight but they let it fell to the bottom due to lack of coordination. A. Chorazewski recovered a loose piece weighting 1,5 kilo.
4. 3. 2. EVIDENCE
We have ashore four pieces of concrete in three classes:
1/ the plate 80 x 50 cm, thickness of concrete 5, 0 - 5, 5 cm; plus the layer of terracotta on the upper side, weight 45 kilos, density 2, 5 t/sqm , reinforced with crossing wire of diameter 2 mm; concrete is very strong and tight
2/ two pieces broken from one plate, total weight 2, 8 kilos, thickness 3, 5 - 4, 5 cm, density 1, 9 t/m3 , no trace of a wire, relics of a glue on the upper side; concrete is fragile and very porous
3/ the loose piece, weight 1, 5 kilo, thickness 2, 1- 2, 4 mm, density 2, 0 t/m3, relics of a glue on the upper side, porous, very rusty in some places including two edges, probably broken off on the ship and laying in wet conditions before she sank.
4. 3. 3. CONCLUSION
Bearing in mind that the surface of the accommodations on the boat deck was about 1000 sqm and at least 500 sqm was replaced or repaired, weight of 60 - 70 tons could be estimated (the number 30 in a gossip probably means not tons but cubic meters). Also other ignored additions to the ship can be easy find: extra WC and bath set - 6 tones in weight plus 7 inflatable life rafts - 1,5 ton in weight, etc., all added to the boat deck.
Adding so much weight and so height means that stability of the ship was seriously damaged. So formal certificates and other formal documents like the stability information and the damage control plan of the ferry are false since 1986. Also stability calculations done on the ferry were untrue if the crew didn't know the above mentioned facts.
It means also that all calculations done for the investigations were untrue and all factual and legal conclusions drawn from such calculations are untrue and misleading.
4. 4. ISSUE No. 4
A long and well established tradition of polish maritime courts is to made the scapegoat from the master, specially from a deceased master. the master is a central person in every inquiry after casualty at sea. If master perished his role, specially in criminal procedure which is adapted for the Polish maritime courts, can be taken over by his wife. An active defender has big power and she or he can strongly oppose the 'ritual of scapegoat' which is played in maritime courts.
4. 4. 1. THE STORY
In 1990 a master of the ferry capt. Andrzej Ulasiewicz had an serious car accident. His skull was broken, he was treated in a hospital in Warsaw. Leaving the hospital he was forbidden by doctors to drive any vehicle with mechanical propulsion which means (according to polish law) also ships propelled by any class of motor. He was also ordered to continue a neurological treatment.
I don't have any information how the treatment was completed but probably Capt. Ulasiewicz fully recovered.
During trial in the Maritime Court in Szczecin Capt. Ulasiewicz was presented by a procedure of disclosing only carefully selected facts as a 'weak' man which lost his mind in difficult situation - all his activities was 'softly' presented as undertaken without logical reasons, as unprofessional etc.
During the trials in maritime courts master's widow Ms. J. Ulasiewicz complained to other seafarers' widows about she was blackmailed by documents which can be used to show her husband as mentally ill. She was forbidden to defend her husband so she keeps only appearances of defense. But she never disclose blackmailers in her complains.
4. 4. 2. THE EVIDENCE
The prosecutor files contain papers which partly explain the situation.
Shortly after the disaster Ms. Ulasiewicz was visited by a police officer who asked for documents which will help to recognize a body of her husband if he is found (Capt. Ulasiewicz drowned with his ship, his body has been found inside the wreck and recovered by navy divers about two weeks later).
She gave some pictures and papers including documents about the hospital treatment. The police numbered it as a file from No. 1 to No. 10 and sent all to the prosecutor in Gdansk.
The injury is described in Polish and in Latin ('commotio cerberi, fractura ossis ocitipalis'). Treatment and doctor's orders are also included, he forbade capt. Ulasiewicz to drive any vehicle. How the treatment was completed, is an open question. Maybe the answer was in the set, but one paper with police No. 4 is missing from the prosecutor files. In the files paper with police No. 3 has the file No. 1242 written in pencil and No. 1188 written in ink. The next paper No. 3 has file No. 1244 in pencil and No. 1190 in ink which is crossed and replaced by No. 1189 in ink. All number of papers to the end of the file Volume No. VI are changed by 'minus one' which means a removal had taken place after the Volume No. VI was bound.
(It is other issue but please note the difference between numbers written in ink and in pencil. The difference grows to more than 100 - so many papers was removed. Removed documents include, for instance, originals of reports which was 'corrected' or 'polished' and in that form bound to files.)
Facts concerning master's health were never disclosed and examined in the maritime courts. A hypothesis of 'a creasy master' was not allowed but it was suggested to the public by the Marine Court in Szczecin. Nobody undertake a real defense of capt. Ulasiewicz, which means all charges, except obviously idiotic, were raised and proved by the Court to the satisfaction of that Court (in maritime court the same person is: an examining judge, a prosecutor and a sitting judge!). During proceedings Mrs. J. Ulasiewicz didn't declare any formal motion or a motion as to evidence.
a/ At this point it is necessary to ask why such conspiracy was done?
I think only one hypothesis explain and join all facts in logical order. This is a story on an illegal cargo of arms and ammunition transferred from Rumania to un undisclosed customer in the third world (the cargo of 10 railway cars included fife (5) cars which declared and controlled weights differed 3-10 tons plus, three (3) heavier cars were from Rumania, one from Czechoslovakia, one from Poland). The transfer was covered by Polish secret services. It remain an open question what was the role of Swedish secret services in the transfer and later in buying a Swedish silence.
Presence of blood in the site of the disaster formed the first hypothesis of explosion as the cause of the sinking. It was taken extremely seriously by Polish and German authorities. Immediately first manipulations had taken place, next followed. The deal between Polish and German authorities is obvious - it is based on a fact, that a secret track branches off in Poland - a main way leads to German seaports.
Due to communist tradition of dependable courts it was very easy to play with the facts in the maritime courts. The typical Polish alliance was formed behind the benches: administration, secret services, business. Everybody had something to hide: illegal arm's trade, illegal repairs, ignorance, common mistakes etc. Everybody liked to ran away from responsibility, the owner liked to receive a compensation for the ship, the operator didn't like to pay compensations for lost cars and cargo etc.
2/ Reasons of publishing this report in this form and in that time shall be also explained by some facts:
I - as a journalist I am blacklisted in all dailies, magazines and electronic media except magazines of special interest with small circulation (for shiplovers, divers etc.), also my name and my other activities are banned in media
II - the theme of "Jan Heweliusz" is banned in most press and in other media or is permitted only in forms acceptable for powers (for example: the daily 'Rzeczpospolita' didn't publish any journalistic material after first hearing in the ECHR, it gives place only for a story written by a Polish Government Agent before the ECHR!)
III - I was heavy fined in a special, ex officio libel trial in the court of small town of Pila which didn't have direct communication to Gdansk and to Warsaw, distance about 250 km, no local daily - (Constitution of Poland gives you a civil right to a court of local jurisdiction); a special procedure was used (a prosecutor proved judges' and prosecutors' innocence, all my motions as to evidence were rejected etc.), the media were forbidden to report or to comment, all journalists' organizations and the Helsinki Committee refused to help me (ECHR case No. 65689/01)
IV - my activity is secretly controlled and 'preventive' actions are undertaken, for example in January 2003 I have sent by Internet some messages about the hearing in the ECHR to the Swedish press; few hours later my free e-post box was jammed forever and I didn't receive any answer
V - also my personal and social contacts with the media are 'controlled' by repressions against my friends, for example; a journalist X.Y. was dismissed from one daily after editing an interview about 'Jan Heweliusz' with me, Y.Z. was dismissed from a post of secretary after ordering and editing my reportage from the hearing in Strasbourg (guys who are in contact with services call all above mentioned practices 'soft logistics', but sometimes we feel it as a true terror)
VI - seamen's widows and their organization are in similar situation, for instance all trade unions refused to help, most widowed families are trapped in never ending legal proceedings for compensations.
I think we need help in any form - even an interest will be greatly appreciated.
Self presentation (appendix to the report on 'Jan Heweliusz' case) is needed because the powers will respond with attacks against me, they will present me as a criminal, an idiot etc. We have a special saying in Polish: "first, you have to prove that you are not a camel", I try to follow:
1/ seafarer, Master Mariner, valid certificate no UMS-49-004007-00033/03 issued again in April 2003 under the regulation of STCW78/95 Convention establishing the revalidation procedure of controlling continued professional competence also by an examination, which I have passed;
also: a 'legal adviser' and a 'detective' working for widowed seafarers' and yacht sailors' families and insurance companies in cases of disasters and individual accidents (now I work for parties in the case of disaster of sailing yacht "Bieszczady")
2/ journalist and author specialized in all maritime
3/ "social worker"
Attached (only in printed version):