Diving work at the MS Estonia wreck site, now in its second day, continued through the night Thursday to Friday, while on Friday morning, the crew raised two segments cut out from the vessel's steel hull.
The research is being conducted aboard the Viking Reach, sailing under the Norwegian flag and with an international crew and complement which includes two survivors of the tragedy.
Underwater dive robots obtained rock samples first, while the latest samples comprise hull segments which are to be compared with the surrounding bedrock.
The reason for this is to ascertain whether a large, over-40-meter gash in the MS Estonia's starboard hull, first observed in a 2020 dive, was the result of contact with the seabed when the stricken vessel sank, in the small hours of September 28, 1994.
Tauri Roosipuu, lead expert with the Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau (OJK) project, told ERR's Dmitri Fedotkin, also on board, that: "In the morning, two steel parts which were cut out of the ship's hull in 1994 were raised (see galleries and video-ed.)."
The cutouts were made by divers in late 1994 in the aftermath of the sinking, but left on the seabed.
"The rock sample, overlap sample and steel parts will next be sent to the lab for analysis," Roosipuu went on.
Private sector Norwegian firm Reach Subsea AS is the contracted partner.
The Viking Reach left the port of Karlskrona in Sweden on Tuesday, arriving at the site shortly after midnight Thursday.
Shiftwork has been ongoing, round-the-clock, since then by the OJK and its Swedish counterpart, the SHK, in cooperation with Finnish authorities.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mirjam Mäekivi