Preliminary MS Estonia investigation starts July

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The MS Estonia. Source: ERR

On July 8, the preliminary investigation of the MS Estonia wreck starts, beginning with a technical survey of the seabed.

The Transport Agency's (Transpordiamet) multi-purpose vessel EVA-316, which is also the mother ship for research, will be used to drive to the accident site.

Rene Arikas, the head of the Safety Investigation Center, explained to ERR that the first stage of the process will last from July 8 to July 18.

"The plan is to make a 3D image of the seabed and the wreck via the technical investigation. In addition, we will use an underwater robot to pinpoint the location of the damage," he explained.

This damage was revealed in a series of Swedish documentaries aired last year, which revealed that there were previously undetected holes in the hull of the Estonia, which sunk in heavy seas on the night of September 28 1994.

As the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the safety investigation center conducting the investigation do not have all the necessary special equipment, a request for professional assistance was submitted to the Transport Authority for the use of the multi-purpose vessel EVA-316.

The ship can be used as an icebreaker, anti-pollution ship, lifeboat and buoy.

"The parent vessel has its own crew of ten people and ten more passengers. Six of these are researchers and four are additional staff. It has been said here that they also include representatives of relatives or survivors and maybe even documentaries," Arikas stressed.

Arikas said that technical investigation is necessary in order to have a clearer picture and sufficiently digitized drawings for the basic investigation starting in the early spring of 2022.

The R/V Electra ship from Stockholm University will be used as a research vessel in the new year, Arikas said. In addition to the Swedes, Finns are also participating in the investigation.

Arikas said that once all the investigation stages have been completed, a final report can be prepared, which is expected to be completed at the end of the new summer or the beginning of autumn.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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