Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) says that new facts emerged in a documentary on the sinking of the MS Estonia, airing on Swedish television, information which no previous report has addressed.
"In my opinion, this is a sufficient reason to initiate and carry out a technical investigation, which of course also means underwater, seabed and wreck investigations," Ratas told ETV investigative show "Pealtnägija"
The "Pealtnägija" episode covered the documentary, "Estonia – a Discovery that Changes Everything" and whose first episode (of five) aired on Monday on the Discovery Channel Sweden. The documentary shows footage of a four-meter-long hole in the MS Estonia's hull, which has led to speculation that this was the real cause of the disaster, rather than the official explanation that a failed bow visor was to blame.
The documentary's maker, 33-year-old Henrik Evertsson, an award-winning freelance journalist and Swedish citizen based in Norway, is currently awaiting trial in Sweden for engaging in unsanctioned diving, after the September 2019 expedition to film the wreck.
While the vessel the documentary makers used flew under the German flag – Germany is not a signatory of an international agreement to preserve the sanctity of the site, including a bar on any diving activities – Evertsson and another Swedish citizen involved in the dive come from a country which has signed up to it.
Jüri Ratas said that this very agreement was part of the reason why the presence of the hole had not come up before.
"Estonia joined the agreement in 1995. The final report was issued in 1997, and no such evidence has been presented so specifically before. Now we have it in pictures and on film," Ratas told "Pealtnägija".
"The reason we are starting a new technical investigation today is because the Discovery documentary series has come out, showing a significant gap or hole in the starboard side of the ferry.
"If we had the 100 percent truth today on why such new information has emerged, why this gap has arisen, then the investigation should not begin, because there are answers. We do not have those answers today," he went on.
Editor: Andrew Whyte