SVT: Estonia, Finland and Sweden support new M/S Estonia dives

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The MS Estonia. Source: ERR

The Estonian, Swedish and Finnish safety investigation authorities have reached the conclusion that new dives should be organized to investigate the sinking of the M/S Estonia ferry, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT reported on Thursday.

Among other things, the aim would be to find out how the holes and cracks in the hull shown in the recent Discovery TV series were formed.

SVT write (link in Swedish), citing several sources, that the Swedish Safety Investigation Board intends to ask the government on Friday to amend the Swedish act protecting the disaster site to make diving possible.

The Estonian government decided to start an investigation on October 1, after the publication of the data of the Discovery documentary film, and on October 6, it proposed to Finland and Sweden to co-operate in further investigation.

Consultations have also begun between the three countries to amend an agreement that is currently hampering in-depth investigations.

The timeframe of the investigation is related to the resolution of legal issues, which must be done in accordance with Finland and Sweden.

The Government's has said the investigation needs to be independent, transparent and reliable and that relatives of those who died are involved.

The ferry M/S Estonia sank on the night of September 28, 1994, sailing from Tallinn to Stockholm. The sinking of Estonia is the largest maritime disaster in peacetime in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people from 17 countries.

The shipwreck was investigated by a joint commission formed by the governments of Estonia, Finland and Sweden between 1994 and 1997 and by a government commission headed by the Public Prosecutor's Office in 2005-2009. 

In 1995, Estonia, Finland and Sweden signed an agreement to protect the shipwreck, which prohibits diving to the wreck.

A report published in 1997 said the cause of the sinking was the breaking of the ship's bow visor.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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