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Oceanologist: High-speed ferry causes life-threatening waves

Waves caused by Viking FSTR hitting the pier at Tallinn's Seaplane Harbour.
Waves caused by Viking FSTR hitting the pier at Tallinn's Seaplane Harbour. Source: (Siim Lõvi /ERR)

The Environment Committee of the Riigikogu will discuss the matter of high-speed ferries in its Friday meeting, chairman Rainer Vakra (SDE) announced in a press release. A scientist recently claimed that Viking Line's Viking FSTR high-speed ferry caused life-threatening waves.

After oceanologist Tarmo Soomere claimed that Viking Line’s high-speed catamaran, the Viking FSTR, caused life-threatening waves in Tallinn Bay, the committee will discuss whether or not a speed limit for the faster ferries in Tallinn Bay is justified. In Soomere’s opinion, the high-speed catamaran should reduce speed near the northern tip of Aegna Island, and travel to the port at a slower speed.

According to Vakra, it is important to ascertain who is competent to say whether or not the ferry causes life-threatening waves, and whether or not it should travel at a slower speed once it passes Aegna. “It seems that the different parties lack a common understanding on who should limit the speed of ferries, and based on what research,” Vakra said.

Representatives of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, shippers Viking Line and Tallink Group, the Estonian Shipowners’ Association, the Harju County government, the Maritime Administration, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and the Ministry of the Environment have been invited to the committee’s Friday meeting.

Viking Lines took up operations with its Viking FSTR catamaran ferry on the Tallinn–Helsinki route this spring. The ferry operates from April to October, and the travel time is one hour and 45 minutes.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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