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10 Years Since M/s Estonia Disaster.  
User currently offlineBofredrik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2798 times:

Out of the total 989 people on the ship only 137 were saved.
852 people died in the sea between Finland and Sweden.

The Estonia disaster occurred on September 28, 1994 at about 00:55 to 01:50 (UTC+2) enroute from Tallinn, Estonia to Stockholm, Sweden carrying 989 people, passengers and crew.

Remember the victims, especially today!

Final report in english.
http://www.onnettomuustutkinta.fi/estonia/

Photo of the ship.
http://www.estoniasamlingen.se/estoniasamlingen/content.aspx






28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineQIguy24 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2770 times:

It's unbelievable that it has been 10 years since the terrible incident. The time really goes fast. It feels like it was yesterday  Sad

I remember that horrible day. Because one of my cousins best friends died in that accident. And they never found her body.

I hope to god that we never will see an accident like that again. And all my heart goes to the people who lost loved ones that night between Estonia and Sweden.


User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10368 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2744 times:

I remember when I heard about it back then. I was lying at the pool on the sundeck of a cruiseship on the river Nile, thinking, Thank God, there are only 2m of water underneath the keel of our boat.
Never thought a disaster of Titanic dimensions could happen on "safe" modern-times ships.


User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2727 times:

Just saw the documentary on TV4 last night - it was hard not to feel very sad. Just the thoughts of people resigned to dying in the corridors, crying in the stairwells, resigned to hopelessness - people just gulping down frozen water, because the situation was so hopeless. Seemed like a beautiful ship too. Very sad.

I really felt for the Swedish and Estonian people  Sad

Estline is bankrupt I understand, it no longer exists?


User currently offlineLeviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2723 times:

"Estline is bankrupt I understand, it no longer exists?"

It got re-organized with new owners, new ships and such, nowdays it is called Tallink and exists as a fast growing company, still provides service between Estonia and Sweden.


User currently offlineSolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 847 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2719 times:

There´s to be a line with M/S Silja Europa Sthlm-Tallin starting soon *october*, lets hope and pray there will never be another Baltic disaster like Estonia  Crying

R.I.P.

Micke/SE



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 5911 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2719 times:

I remember getting up and listening to the news on the radio and all they were talking about was that the ferry Estonia had sunk and that there were heavy losses.

A bit eery, because my sister had been on the same ship just 4 months earlier when she returned from Estonia.


User currently offlineLevent From France, joined Sep 2004, 1718 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2697 times:

I was planning a trip through Scandinavia and the Baltic countries when it happened. Part of the journey would be with the Estonia...
Terrible accident, but the sad thing is that ships sink in countries like Bangladesh and the Philippines, causing many victims also, and there´s not much news coverage on those accidents.


User currently offlineFritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2671 times:

I remember it as if it was yesterday and when I found out about it. I was 10 years old and sitting in Swedish class when our teacher informed us about the disaster. Class for the Swedish people in my school was dismissed for the rest of the day.

A friend of mine lost his mother in this tragic accident. Today has been a very tough day for him.


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6296 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

I was on Estonia in March six months before the disaster.

The sad thing is that it was a disaster which just had to happen. Many things added up.

1. The ship was built in 1980/81 as the 2nd oil crisis stuck. The owner - Finish Viking Line - wanted it as lightweight as possible to save fuel. They would use it in calm waters between Stockholm or Kapellskjar north of Stockholm to Turku or Åbo on the west coast of Finland. Zig-zagging between the thousands of small islands.

2. In 1992 they sold that flimsy beer can ship to Estline to be used in open water for which it was never designed. I had crossed the North Sea to Britain many times, and I remember seeing the hull structure on the car deck and was thinking, "man, if that ship was ever going to face a storm in the North Sea waters, then it would crumble like an empty beer can under your feet".

3. Until 1991 Estonia - the country - was occupied by the Soviet Union. The Soviet authorities never trusted Estonians as sailors, so they were never educated in that business. Consequently the country lacked experienced sailors all way from captains and down.

4. Estline was 49% Swedish owned, and they started out with many experienced Swedish crew members. But they were hastily replaced by Estonians since their paycheque was one forth of a Swedish paycheque.

5. It had been noticed that when the weather was rough, as it often is, then Estline was mostly on time while other shipping companies crossing the Baltic often were a few hours late. Estline was proud to maintain their reputation of punctuality, and they hardly ever slowed down in rough weather or made diversions to avoid the roughest water.

6. Bad maintenance: Some fasterners for the bow port had already broken long time before the disaster. No attempts were made to repair them.

7. The ship was registered in Estonia and under control of Estonian shipping authorities. But the country in reality had no experienced staff at their control bureau.

Sad to say, but that disaster just had to happen. The German shipyard, which built the ship, has been blamed a lot. But that's hardly fair. They built the flimsy floating hotel which their customer wanted, and they never designed it to be used on open water.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently onlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5599 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2649 times:

It's hard to believe it's 10 years already. I remember it very clearly. It was all over the news back then.
I have this little phobia from deep dark waters and ever since I was a small child I was fascinated by the most famous picture of sinking Titanic with all the propellers high in the air. Just the thought of being forced to jump in the middle of the night into the rough sea from a huge sinking ferry - like those poor souls onboard Estonia had to is a synonyma of pure horror to me.
Almost as bad as sitting in the dark, stuck in a crippled sunk submarine hoping for those up there to save you before your oxygen runs out.


User currently offlineBREmer From Germany, joined May 2004, 551 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2640 times:



I remember it very well, too. I'm a little interested in ferries so I sucked in all the info I could get when it happened, although I was only 9 years old. Think I still got some newspaper articles from that day somewhere. What a tragic night....  Sad

@Solnabo: If Silja Europa is going to start the Stockholm - Tallinn route it would be pretty ironic. Silja Europa was one of the first ships to be in the disaster area the night the Estonia went down and fished several people out of the water. I absolutely love the design of the Silja Europa though, a great ship! Built at the same yard as the Estonia - Mayer in Papenburg, Germany.

Lukas


User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2620 times:

Interesting you mention that, I started reading quite a lot about ferries (in particular ro-ro ones) after the Estonia disaster. My interest waned eventually though, strangely enough, I developed an interest in aviation a little while after.

The tragedy is it could have been prevented.

BTW: Very interesting post Preben - tack.

Some information on Estline - apparently never made a profit in 8 years.
http://www.toni-schonfelder.com/eng.asp?id=315


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7917 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2610 times:

I just saw a Spiegel TV documentation on XXP on the Estonia. It seems to be likely that the disaster based on a combination of three things: bad weather, unqualified maintenance and the opening of the ramp by purpose to get rid of two trucks allegedly loaded with cobalt.

It's a very interesting and incredibly comprehensive report, anyone else seen it?



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2606 times:

Here in the U.S. there are very few of these large ferries, so when I heard about over 900 people being on the ferry I thought "what the ... are they doing, like in Bangladesh?" But then I realized that on the North Sea and the English channel, large ferries like that are the norm, and when I heard about how many people died because of a foolish mistake, I was floored.

R.I.P.



Up, up and away!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29705 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2602 times:

You know it always amazes me how "Top-heavy" ships that are designed for the Baltic look.


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2598 times:

Interestingly enough, the History Channel tonight had a show on the history of maritime safety devices, and the Estonia disaster was mentioned in it in regards to the life rafts which were upside down, and the regulations that now require all life rafts be self righting.

User currently offlinePyh From Finland, joined Oct 2001, 146 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2585 times:

I remember the accident very well too. That night was very stormy in Helsinki area. When I heard the news, I couldn't believe that it could happen in the Baltic Sea. It was a sad day, indeed.  Sad

As to the Stockholm-Tallinn route, I thought that it's Silja Opera which will start that route, not Silja Europa. Silja Opera cruised Helsinki-St.Petersburg and Helsinki-Visby routes last summer.


User currently onlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5599 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2570 times:

NoUFO,
I haven't seen the document but I've read some articles about Swedish government trying to prevent an independent investigation of the disaster. If I remember correctly some guys took a dive to take some samples from the areas where the ramp broke off and the lab analysis revealed some chemical compounds associated with explosions. Someone also implicated that the ramp was opened intentionally and even suggested an insurance fraud - but that seems way too crazy.
I don't remember details, except that the divers were imposed a lifetime ban on entry to Sweden and that they were under permanent surveillance Swedish navy.
As I said it was a long time ago since I've read the article and don't know how serious it was supposed to be. Please correct my info, if you know more details.


User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Reply 19, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2547 times:

"As to the Stockholm-Tallinn route, I thought that it's Silja Opera which will start that route, not Silja Europa. Silja Opera cruised Helsinki-St.Petersburg and Helsinki-Visby routes last summer."

Silja Opera it is - Europa is still on the Stockholm Turku route i think with Silja Festival - Silja Serenada and Symphony are doing Stockholm Helsinki i think, with Finnjet doing Rostock Tallinn Helsinki. I think - its been a while since i was at uni - used to be VERY interested in Ferries but not so much now.



What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Reply 20, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2546 times:

Posted this before a while back - thougth it was pertinent here since we are discussing ferries and safety.

I have wide experience working on ferries, I have my degree in Ferry operations business, and work writing credit reports now for ferry and cruise companies as well as airlines, and so am reasonably well qualified to make certain observations.

Not wishing to be morbid, but ive been considering various things in preparation for a editorial review later this year. The title concerns the effects of a terrorist attack on a ferry or passenger ship, and it makes disturbing reading.

You say stadiums and tube lines are targets and should be avoided - i'd say that although easy targets, they are comparatively difficult to kill many hundreds or thousands - and are not specific enough to do real economic damage, like say, an attack on Heathrow which would paralyse the main artery of the country for a long time. Below is a c&p i took from some notes discussions ive been having - and i dont know about you but this scares the crap out of me. Its one of those things that the more you think of, the scarier it becomes.

Its very difficult to blow up a ferry. You would need many thousands of pounds of explosives to do any meaningful damage - they are very structurally strong - But its easy to kill nearly everyone on board. No need to blow it up - just set fire to it. Plant a small incendiary charge on a tank trailer on the vehicle deck - very easy to smuggle aboard and easy to place - pretty much untraceable, and unstoppable - once theres a bad fire on the cardeck - ie: refined petrochemicals in a tanker vessel or trailer you are in serious, serious trouble.

Hydrocarbons and refined products are dangerous and ferry operators usually prefer to put them outside on the weatherdecks for obvious reasons. Not all ferries have weatherdecks fore or aft, so for the most part the IMDG classed cargo goes on the vehicle decks. (IMDG - International Maritime certified Dangerous Goods - ie: petrochemicals, refined hydrocarbons, oxidising agents, flammable liquids, gases, explosives etc).

All vehicle ferries over a certain gross tonnage now have to have longitudinal bulkhead doors to prevent fires from spreading through the car deck but these are normally aluminium and will melt in eight or nine minutes, if the fire is hot enough - ie: if you are burning Kerosene. Either way, they are not air tight, normally there is a gap at the top to aid ventilation, and the other compartments will certainly flashover (air temperature in the adjoining compartment is risen due to transferred heat from the involved compartment to the point where the oxygen in the air combusts) before the doors melt. The vehicle decks have a degree of fire protection in the form of sprinklers, and sometimes halon gas flooders, but these are of limited use on a really severe petrochemicals fire. Then you have secondary explosions from petrol tanks, gas cylinders on caravans, and reefer units cooking off in the fire.

Expect smoke to fill the lower decks and begin rising into the passenger decks inside four minutes, and to reach the upper decks in six. Anyone below the car decks (most overnight ferries have passenger cabins and such below the car decks) is in real trouble, quite simply as smoke or fire may reach the stairwells down very quickly, and although the physics of hot gases and smoke dictates that it will take a long time to reach downwards, they will effectively block a stairwell - any exposure to the smoke for more than a few seconds will probably be lethal.

A terrorist would need to detonate the charge in the middle of the night - say, just before three, when everyone is in bed, and the crew are at their lowest state of readiness. If it is good weather there are probably only two people on the bridge, and probably only the second officer - the more senior deck officers often prefer not to take the really late shifts, especially on ferries. People react slower at night time. This includes emergency services. Also - it is SOP for the nightwatchman to be sent down to wherever the alarm is going off to confirm, before the main alarms are sounded - then the Officer in charge will sound muster stations and eventually an abandonment call.

For maximum effect, further incendiaries may be planted in cabins and lower deck areas where the fire may not be discovered until it has taken hold and become too intense to extinguish with hand held fire extinguishers. If planted in cabins near the main stairwells, you effectively cut off the lower decks and all the passengers in them. A horrible thought. Also a ship has a finite fightfighting capability, and if these fires are tackled, other fire belowdecks go unchallenged, and will spread accordingly.

The reason fires are so dangerous is because of the materials used in fitting out passenger ferries - when they burn they really do burn very quickly, and often give off toxic gases, which mix with the smoke meaning that from when you first smell smoke, unless you are perhaps thirty seconds from clean air ie: outside - open decks, then you will collapse from the toxic effects of the gases and die where you fall. The vast majority of people who died in the Scandinavian Star tragedy died because they didnt get out of the smoke quick enough and passed out from Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Now think of this.

The newer breed of overnight cruise ferry, more often found in the Baltic, though also in numbers on English Channel, can carry more than 1,500 people in cabins, sometimes as many as 2,200. It takes more than ten to twelve minutes to get everyone out on deck at at the outside muster stations ready to embark the lifeboats and liferafts, after the first alarm has been raised. Think it probably takes thirty seconds to raise the alarm if the fire/explosion is on the cardeck, but much, much longer if it is in an enclosed upper deck space, such as the cinema, cleaning locker, or cabin block. The muster alarm may not be given right away - it is the call of the senior bridge personel at the time - they will usually go and wake the Master, assuming he is in his berth, and this will take time.

The design of ferries dictate that the upper superstructure is airtight, and that doors and windows are heavy and remain closed unless opened by hand, and will need to be chocked open - this takes time, and all the while the smoke from the fire(s) below will fill the whole upperworks very quickly. The bridge is able to reverse the air con system but this will only help, and not solve the issue, and indeed, the vents are usually on the deckspace outside, and the toxic fumes being vented from below will disperse over the crowds of people waiting to be escorted into liferafts on the decks - more exposure to the fumes which will further take its toll.

So, assuming the alarm is raised quickly and professionally, then the people who can get out of the rapidly smoke filling superstructure, will be gathered out on deck and awaiting the Master's signal to commence abandonment procedures - this will mean, again, assuming all is going well, that people will be preparing 25 person liferafts which will be lauched over the side with one crew member and 24 passengers in. The lifeboats will take 200+ each. This procedure should take no longer than 20 minutes to disembark everyone. By the end of this, the first of the helicopters will be overhead, again, assuming all goes well and the weather is fine, and any passing shipping will be on scene soon. If anyone goes in the water fully clothed in the winter ie: now, in the late summer, in the shallow English Channel, they have maybe fourteen minutes before they die of cold, less if the person is unfit etc. This time is much reduced in the colder waters of the North Sea, drops to about seven minutes in the winter time. Also bear in mind that the weather decks are six, seven or eight stories above the water on average on most ferries, and if theres a panic, then people will jump - assuming that the water will be safe - the cold shock alone will kill one in twenty, and the fall many more. There will be no help arriving for a long time - helicopters half an hour and even hours for another ship if the vessel is not in the lanes, and the vessel will probably still be afloat, but well ablaze - anyone left aboard after about forty minutes will be not be leaving the ship.

Potentially you could kill hundreds of people this way.

What a chilling and horrible prospect this little scenario makes. But removed from reality? Nope. Spanish police intercepted an ETA bomb plot to attack the Brittany Ferries Val de Loire out of the Basque port of Santander back in 1999.

Ferries are an easy target, and far easier and more devastating than a bomb on a plane or a truck bomb at a theatre. The terrorists must know this and thats why im steering well clear of overnight ferries and cruise ships for the moment.



[Edited 2004-09-29 15:47:02]


What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently offlineLevent From France, joined Sep 2004, 1718 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2525 times:

"Potentially you could kill hundreds of people this way."

Well, that should make life easier for the would-be terrorists out there...


User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Reply 22, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2522 times:

Yeah cos they all spend their days on the Non-Av forums of A-net....




What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently offlineLeviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2489 times:

CHRISBA777ER, your theory scares the shit out of me, it is so through ! I have thought of this for a long time, traveling by boat is where I feel most unsafe, it sucks.


And by the way... Do anybody know if the Swedish "owner" (49% as Preben said) "Nordström och Thulin" still operate any ships ? They still have a really fancy office building on the Skeppsbron in Stockholm.


User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2463 times:

I tried visiting the website www.nordthulin.com and it's not running anymore.

25 Treg : Just a small correction. Estline and Tallink have nothing to do with each other, except the fact that Tallink took over the routes and some ships afte
26 Ts-ior : ...just a week ago i watched a documentary on the M/s Estonia disaster and they mentioned rumors of bombing by dealers, a kind of revenge, that used
27 Leviticus : Treg, Thanks for the clarification, I stand corrected.
28 CPH-R : As for how dangerous fires can become on ferries, one only need to look at the Scandinavian Star, which I think happened a few years before the Estoni
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