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Welcome to a chapter of the e-book Disaster Investigation.

1.42 All Oilers, Fitters, Welders and Repair Men aboard the 'Estonia' were rescued - but do not mention it

When checking the previously mentioned lists of survivors the writer noted that all eight engine crewmembers survived apart from 3/Eng. Treu. Seven were already on the BSN list on 28 September 1994 at 16.25 hrs - here marked * below. Mr Sillaste had been called up at about 00.30 hrs and he has said in several testimonies that he thought that the ship was leaking 1.3. Those statements - and other information - have been manipulated by the Commission.

Two Welders disappear but survive

Mr Märtsson and Mr Siljajev were called welders in the summary of testimonies, act D21, later changed to turner and fitter in act G42. Mr Märtsson was rescued aboard the 'Mariella' 1.41 and was apparently flown to a hospital in Finland (Ekernäs). Why the Commission changed the job titles is unclear. Mr Verro was engineer (refrigeration) with Mr Raba as assistant. Kadak was watch keeping motorman (oiler). Mr Siegel and Mr Moosar were the other two motormen (oilers). Mr Moosar was also rescued aboard the 'Mariella' 1.41. Messr. Verro, Raba and Siegel were according to their own statements in their cabins, when the accident (the sudden listing) occurred, and evacuated immediately. Mr Raba was on deck 1 and ran through a 'curtain' of water when passing the car deck. It is one of the strange statements that the Commission interprets as evidence that here was water on the car deck - flowing down to deck 1. Where the welders Märtsson and Siljajev and the motorman (oiler) Moosar were, when the listing occurred, is not known to the writer. The Final Report (5) has no information about these crewmembers.

Table 1.42.1 - Names of 8 surviving motormen (oilers) and fitters



Date of Birth

Last questioned

Henrik Sillaste*

Systems engineer (aboard for 18 months)



Vassili Märtsson*

Welder (D21), turner (G42)



Ivan Siljajev*

Turner, welder (D21), fitter (G42)



Andres Verro*

Engineer (refrigeration)



Hannes Kadak*

Motorman (aboard only 12 hours)



Tavi Raba




Elmar Siegel*




Tanel Moosar*




The Final Report evidently does not report if "hot work" was done by crew or repairmen aboard. It is a common cause of accident - you repair and weld, the environment is not gas free and there is an explosion.

14 months after the accident Messrs. Märtsson, Siljajev, Siegel and Moosar were questioned again by the Commission, together with 22 other Estonians, four of which were aboard the 'Mariella' with Märtsson and Moosar 1.41.

One reason why the engine crew survived could be that 3/Eng. M. Treu probably noted that the engine room was filling up with water already 00.40 hrs and asked Sillaste and Kadak to start bilge pumps. When it didn't work, they evacuated the engine room before the sudden listing 01.02 hrs, went to their cabins, took on warm clotthing, alterted their colleagues and proceeded to open deck to save their lives. Later Treu & Co were asked to testify about a leaking bow ramp, etc.

Testimonies have been created

On 28 February 1996 the Commission wrote in its protocol (act A168*) that ...

"An agreed basic document regarding testimonies had now been created",

But soon after the Swedish members of the Commission interviewed another three Swedes who had been on the 'Mariella' or the 'Silja Europa' - Eckhard Klug, Peter Järvinen and Paula Liikamaa 1.41. The protocol (act D29*) was made secret. As late as 25 October 1996 the Swedes interviewed Mr Eckhard Klug and made the record secret (act D30*). Were these late interviews made to ensure that they had not seen Estonian seamen on the 'Mariella' that later disappeared?

The flooding Studies will support any Conclusions of Events

The Commission met on 4-5 December 1995 (act A153a*) - then they discussed the Roll-Nix system (a passive anti-roll system with >100 tons of water) - was it used? - Estonia (Laur) and Sweden (Stenström) were going to investigate! It was probably not used - it had been replaced by the new stabilizers 2.23. At the next meeting on 31 January - 1 February 1996 (act A162*) - there was not one word about the Roll-Nix! - instead Rosengren said that

"the flooding studies will support any conclusions of the probable sequence and time scale of events"

(compare 1.9 where it is shown that the 'sequence of events' are falsified).

On 27-28 February 1996 was the next meeting (act A168*) where

... "An agreed basic document regarding testimonies had now been created"! (see above ) ..."Chapter 8 should be expanded to indicate that other causes for the accident like explosions and collisions had been considered but found unlikely". …

is in the protocol but not in the Final Report.

Explosions unlikely

The meeting protocols do not say why suddenly Messrs. Märtsson, Siljajev, Siegel and Moosar were questioned again in December 1995 and January, February 1996 (with 22 others). But then on 23-24 February the Commission had agreed on the testimonies and that explosions were unlikely.

It could be as simple that there were explosions aboard caused by the crew (or something else? - leakage - at about 00.30-00.40 hrs). However, the Commission had already agreed to blame the accident on the visor, so the 'investigation' described above was just done to confirm that an 'explosion' could be hidden.88

The large number of surviving engine crew members is not explained in the Final report.


88 The writer thinks that the welders Märtsson and Siljajev, engineers Varre and Sillaste and the four oilers knew exactly the condition of the ship and what actually happened before the accident. They could very well have been welding aboard (in the middle of the night at sea?) - in the Roll Nix system tank - and there was an explosion due to gas at about 00.40 hrs. The whole ship was shaken and water flowed in. Then they tried to do something and there was a second minor explosion or impact just before 01.00 hrs followed by the sudden loss of initial stability. Later, the crew told the investigators about the 'explosions' but the Commission decided to blame the accident on the visor - and the engine crew kept silent about what actually happened aboard. Anyway - it is quite strange that the Commission, when writing a completely false Final Report about the visor, started to - secretly - examine the possibility of explosions aboard, when the investigation was already 14 months old.

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