Government allocates €1.6 million to MS Estonia wreck underwater surveys

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The MS Estonia. Source: ERR

Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) has signed a directive allocating €1.6 million from the government reserve to the Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau to finance the underwater probe of the wreck of the passenger ferry Estonia and the ordering of an electronic simulation model.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said at a government press conference in February that the government made a decision in principle to allocate €3 million to the Safety Investigation Bureau for the investigation of the Estonia ferry wreck with submarine robots.

The investigation will be carried out in cooperation with the Finnish and Swedish safety investigation centers, but only Estonia and Sweden will fund the research in equal amounts, as Finland had fewer victims and therefore less interest in contributing to the investigation, Kallas said.

The precondition for conducting the investigation is changes in both Finnish and Swedish laws. Kallas said that underwater surveys will likely not start before the summer.

The Estonian daily Postimees wrote in February that the underwater investigation of the Estonia ferry wreck will likely be postponed until February next year, as Sweden and Finland have promised to pass diving laws by July, and only then will an international tender be carried out for underwater work, which will also take time.

"If all goes well, maybe we can get it done around New Year's Eve. It would be suitable to do this in February because visibility is best then," said Jens Haug, head of the Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau, which heads the investigation.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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