'The vessel was on the starboard side, i.e. the heel was about 90°, at about 01.30 hours (several witnesses) and continued to heel to starboard until she was, probably at about 01.40 hours, completely upside down with the stern deep down and the bow rising higher and higher. It has to be assumed that the visor fell off by gravity once the vessel had turned far enough, probably to 130°/140°, when the forepeak deck sticking in the visor bottom and also the bow ramp did not support the visor anymore. It has to be assumed that the foundation of the fully extended starboard actuator broke when becoming exposed to the full weight of the visor.'
UPDATE to the INVESTIGATION REPORT ON THE CAPSIZING ON 28 SEPTEMBER 1994 IN THE BALTIC SEA OF THE RO-RO PASSENGER VESSEL MV E S T O N I A by the German 'Group of Experts' dated May 2000 and available in the Internet under www.estoniaferrydisaster.net since that time. THIS UPDATE COVERS THE TIME FROM JUNE 2000 - DECEMBER 2006
The M/S "Estonia" sank in the Baltic on 28 September 1994 under mysterious circumstances. At least 852 persons died. The ferry had frequently carried ex USSR military material from Tallinn to Stockholm, some of it on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces. Immediately, without any evidence, the authorities stated that the bow visor had caused the accident. However it seems that the visor had nothing to do with the accident but was simply removed from the wreck under water by the Swedish Armed Forces after the accident - so you could blame the accident on the visor. It explains all lies and official false information about the sinking presented 1994-2005. To support the official lies many surviving Estonian crewmembers were kidnapped by the authorities later on the day of the event. Other crewmembers were forced to lie about what happened. All information was then falsified to support the official story.
Many persons interested in the 'Estonia' sinking 1994 wonder why Heiwa Co suggests that the visor fitted to the superstructure was removed under water after the sinking. Secret Swedish divings to the wreck took place a few days after the accident and a few days later the visor was removed! This page explains how then the investigation was manipulated.
The JAIC alleges, e.g.
that the visor locks and hinges in the superstructure of the 'Estonia were broken due to ship motions and wave forces, when the ship was doing 14-15 knots, and
that the then lose visor ripped open the bow ramp, and
that the visor sank to the bottom, and
that water allegedly entered the superstructure of the ship, which therefore listed at 01.15 hrs, and
that the ship turned 180° back towards Tallinn, and
that the ship sank about 35 minutes later 1 560 meters East of the visor after 01.50 hrs, when four crewmembers in the water observed
that the visor was missing.
Heiwa Co has already concluded that the above alleged sequence of events of the sinking is false.
Heiwa Co now concludes, based of the fact that the Commission lied about the sinking, that the visor was attached to the 'Estonia' superstructure, when she sank and that the visor was removed under water after the accident using explosives and pulling the visor arms from the deck hinges.
The evidence and the facts of this conclusion of Heiwa Co, that the visor was attached to the superstructure, when the ship sank and was later removed under water, are shown in the book Disaster Investigation but a summary for easy reference of 21 events is given below:
The best evidence that the visor was never ripped off the ship, when it was underway, is evidently the visor itself.
Just look at the scrape marks (there are none) below the visor hinge arms, on the visor lifting lugs below the arms and inside the visor housing and it is clear that no marks on the visor indicate that it fell off as alleged by the JAIC. There are also damages (rounded indents) on the visor that must have been caused by explosives (applied some distance away).
Had the visor fallen off and ripped open the ramp as alleged by the JAIC (when the ferry was under way to Stockholm), the vessel would have capsized after one minute. The JAIC falsified all stability calculations to this effect. The simple conclusion is that the visor was thus attached to the ship, when it sank.
The visor was probably lose and fell off sideways over the ramp, when the ship had >110 degrees starboard list ,when it sank. The visor then hanged on to the superstructure by help of the starboard hinge and lifting hydraulics. To support the false suggestion that the visor had fallen off before the accident, the JAIC simply arranged that the visor was removed from the wreck under water. A false position of the wreck was announced and marked by a blue buoy to keep curious parties away.
The Swedish and Finnish divers doing that job apparently used explosives to remove the visor from the superstructure and caused various damages to the wreck and left one unexploded explosive device on the port side of the ramp, where it was filmed on 9 October 1994. When these damages could not be hidden on the underwater films taken of the wreck, rumours were spread that these damages had been caused before the accident in an attempt to stop the ship. Evidently by blowing off the visor under way you would not have sunk the ship. The visor was just a 'decoration' at the forward end of the superstructure. The weather tightness of the superstructure was ensured by the ramp, which was never open.
To support the false allegation that the visor caused the accident the Commission then spread the false information that roro-passenger ferries with intact underwater hull sink (sic) due to free water loaded in the superstructure on the large open roro deck.
All information about intact and damage stability of roro-passenger ferries was shamefully falsified. The standard procedure was using an 'expert', e.g. Mr Hans Wermelin stating that roro-passenger ships were inherently unsafe mixing them up with roro-cargo ships. Mr Wermelin was later paid handsomely writing chapter 10 in the Final report.
That a roro-passenger ferry has a substantial freeboard and reserve buoyancy inside a subdivided hull was not mentioned. Instead it was suggested that roro-passenger ships were built like roro-cargo ships, which have minimum freeboard and no reserve buoyancy or subdivision in the hull at all. And the International Maritime Organization agreed silently.
Both the official Commission and the German Group of experts used the same Finnish 'stability' expert Veli-Matti Junnila of Ship Consulting Ltd. to provide false stability calculations - e.g. 3.12.
The 'Estonia' never sank due to the visor - she simply sank due to normal leakage of the hull below the waterline. The ship was simply unseaworthy without correct lifesaving equipment and with watertight doors that could not be closed, etc. And this the JAIC and the Swedish Maritime Administration decided to cover up by blaming the accident on the visor (and the German shipyard)!
In order to blame the accident on the visor it simply had to be removed from the wreck under water.
The visor could not and had not fallen off the ferry under way. It was a lye from day one convincingly presented to the public by the media. However, it was not easy to write an investigation report based on that lye, so every essential fact in the Final report had to be falsified too. The three governments of Estonia, Finland and Sweden cooperated nicely with this dirty job.
It is an unprecedented scandal in the history of marine accident investigations. Why did the Commission lye and write a totally false Final report for more than three years? How could the International Maritime Organization believe it? And it is very sad that serious mariners and naval architects have not protested during seven years to have the matter corrected.