MS Estonia ferry investigation continues, no additional funds yet allocated
The Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau (ESIB) will ask the government for additional funding within a week. The current phase of the investigation involves the creation of a digital twin of the MS Estonia ferry to model the hull damage caused by a collision with the seafloor.
Rene Arikas, head of the Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau (ESIB), said that it was agreed with the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut (SDE) on Monday that a new application for funding the investigation from the government's funds would be prepared within a week. For the time being, the investigation is ongoing.
"Interviews with survivors and other key people involved in the disaster are currently underway, as well as the creation of a digital twin of the ferry in order to conduct various computational modelling exercises. We are also ready to carry out marine research, which was approved this spring," Arikas said.
Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) researchers are working on creating the MS Estonia ferry digital twin and modeling its collision with the seabed.
"The goal is to determine whether the openings and fractures discovered on the ship were caused by the collision with the seafloor. This is the first hypothesis we are investigating. To do this, we will create a digital twin of the ship or a computational model that can simulate the ship's contact with the seafloor," Professor of Marine Technology Kristjan Tabri said.
Arikas added that the overall cost of the planned investigations will exceed €5.2 million, while the government has budgeted €3 million for the investigation.
Sikkut said that it is difficult to predict the cost of such a unique research endeavor; moreover, everything has become more expensive.
"The investigation's leader will, if necessary, submit an additional funding request to the government in addition to the three million euros allocated by the decision to reopen this investigation. The government has not yet discussed any additional requests; however, if these needs are clear, the government will definitely consider them," she said.
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Editor: Kristina Kersa