The Vinnova Estonia Study 2005 - Amazing Findings 2008
The main expected output of the Vinnova Estonia 2005 study was an explanation of the most probable scenario for the sinking sequence of MV Estonia 1994.
The surprising result is now known 2008!
MV Estonia loaded more than 2 000 tons of water per minute through an open bow ramp opening and heeled more than 45° starboard in a few minutes! In spite of this 300 persons managed during 10 minutes to escape to open decks and later to jump overboard to life rafts in the water. According JAIC 1997 less than 300 tons of water per minute were loaded.
MV Estonia floated then on the virtually intact deck house for 22 minutes, while the list increased to 90°. Normally a deck house is built only to withstand wind forces, rain and sea water splashing and not to be submerged several meters below water and float on. However; water only leaked into the MV Estonia deck house very slowly through two (!) broken deck house windows per deck, the scientist established. There are more than 50 windows per deck and several doors in the aft bulkhead. According JAIC 1997 all windows broke at once on decks 4 and 5, when submerged, and the deck house filled with 14 000 tons of water in a few minutes. This is what normally happens! Then MV Estonia capsized. According the Vinnova Estonia 2005 study it did not happen! MV Estonia floated on the deck house! And later MV Estonia capsized and floated upside down.
MV Estonia then floated upside down on compressed air inside the hull for 20 minutes and drifted at 2.2 knots speed as witnessed by people in rafts and lifeboats that also drifted at 2.2 knots and reported by JAIC 1997. However, after 20 minutes the compressed air in the MV Estonia stern compressed more (!) according latest findings! The sinking sequence started at last ... as witnessed by some survivors in rafts and lifeboats close by!
The sinking sequence 2008
MV Estonia thus lost its buoyancy in the stern when she was upside down 45 minutes after initial water loading in the superstructure started, so the stern sank and hit bottom. The MV Estonia was then still floating (!) with the bow above water. However, also the compressed air in the bow section compressed more according latest findings, buoyancy was reduced there too and the bow sank a few minutes later. MV Estonia thus sank due to air suddenly being compressed in the hull 25 minutes after capsize! JAIC could not explain the sinking 1994-1997, i.e. that the air inside the hull was simply compressed more after 45 minutes and buoyancy disappeared. Has never happened before, though.
The above is the most probable scenario for the sinking sequence of MV Estonia 1994 established 2008 by Chalmers University, Gothenburg, SSPA Sweden AB, Gothenburg, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Safety at Sea, Co, Ltd., Glasgow, MARIN, Wageningen, HSVA, Hamburg and Harburg-Hamburg Technical University, Hamburg, at a cost exceeding SEK 12M and 100's of working months of experts' times 2006-2008. For strange reasons media has not yet reported these revolutionary, new findings by so many well-known ship research institutions, probably due to summer vaccations.