The transcripts of the data retrieved from the so-called black box of the ferry Tõll, which collided with a berth at Kuivastu Harbor last week, are yet to be received, Rene Arikas, head of the Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau, said on Tuesday.
Arikas on Tuesday appeared with Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab before the ferry Estonia disaster investigation support group in the parliament.
While matters related to the preliminary inquiry at the ferry Estonia wreck took up most of the time of the meeting, Mart Helme, deputy chairman of the opposition Estonian Conservative People's Party, asked whether it was true that President Kersti Kaljulaid visited the bridge of the Tõll before the accident and when the accident happened, the captain had left the bridge to accompany the head of state to her vehicle on the car deck.
Arikas noted that the Safety Investigation Bureau has so far not considered it necessary to open a procedure in the case of the Tõll, on the basis of the information received, nor is it their business who and where was on board the vessel at the time of the accident. However, Arikas confirmed that data collection is still ongoing and that it cannot be ruled out that at some point it will be necessary to open a safety investigation. For example, the readings of the information contained in the vessel's black box have not yet been received.
Arikas explained that it is the responsibility of the Safety Investigation Bureau to examine the technical circumstances of an accident if there is a risk that they may recur.
The ferry Tõll, which departed from Virtsu Harbor and was scheduled to arrive in Kuivastu Harbor at 2:40 p.m. on July 21, hit a berth at the port at a speed of four knots, as a result of which the vehicle ramp was completely deformed. Footage from Kuivastu Harbor's security camera shows that the collision was very strong, yet there are no visually identifiable serious injuries to the hull of the vessel.
President Kersti Kaljulaid was also on board the vessel at the time, and her vehicle sustained minor damages in the collision.
Editor: Helen Wright