Investigation bureau to create 'digital model' of MS Estonia disaster

The MS Estonia ferry's bow ramp arrived in Paldiksi on Tuesday and investigations will now continue on land, including the creation of an "actuate digital model" of the disaster. The findings are helping to bring clarity to survivors.

The bow ramp arrived at Paldiski South Harbor on Tuesday after being raised from the bottom of the seabed. This wraps up investigations taking place at the wreck site in the Baltic Sea, Tuesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Further research will now continue on land.

"First, we will document the current condition of the ramp and then take the necessary samples. One thing that we will certainly try to answer is how the ramp fell off the hull of the ship after sinking to the seabed, which became known in 2021, so that will be a new finding," said Tauri Roosipuu, the lead expert of the Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau (OJK) project.

OJK head Märt Ots said, overall, he was satisfied with the raising of the ramp, even though it took longer than expected.

The Estonia ferry. Source: ERR

"A closer inspection revealed that the ramp was very firmly embedded in the seabed. It had formed a kind of sand and mud rock formation, not a very strong rock formation, but a rock formation that held the ramp quite firmly on the seabed," he said.

Another goal is to create an accurate digital model of MS Estonia's sinking and damage.

"From when the strong waves started to beat against the Estonia's visor, how the visor came off, how the ramp came off, how the Estonia sank," Ots said.

MS Estonia survivor Ants Madar, who was onboard the research vessel as an observer, said taking part in the investigation had brought him clarity and peace.

"This investigation dispelled any doubts. [These are] Real professionals who do their job very accurately and very well, and there is no more time for conspiracy theories," he said.

The 'Broken Line' monument in Tallinn. Source: Jan Pohunek/Creative Commons

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is seeking a permanent home for the ramp. It will remain in storage until one is found.

The MS Estonia ferry sank in rough seas in the small hours of September 28, 1994, with the loss of 852 lives.

The bow vehicle ramp is a critical component in understanding exactly what happened during the disaster.

The discovery of this large rupture, seen in footage obtained in 2020 which later formed the basis of a Discovery Channel documentary, prompted renewed speculation on the causes of the disaster, and whether this hole was caused when the stricken ship hit the bedrock, or before or after this event.

The official version of events is that the bow visor sheared off in heavy seas, allowing water to gush in around the raised vehicle ramp, thus compromising the vessel's buoyancy.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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