Welcome to a chapter of the e-book DisasterInvestigation.
"In every investigation I've taken part in, the key has been to establish a timeline. And the timeline is established by witness accounts, by information from alarm systems, by any video that you might have of the event, and then by calculations. And you try to put all of this together. And if your calculations are consistent with some of these hard facts, then perhaps you can have some comfort in the results of your calculations. I have not seen a timeline placed in the NIST report."
James Quintiere, Ph.D., former Chief of the Fire Science Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
1.48 Proven untrue Testimonies by Estonian Crewmembers. Treu, Sillaste and Kadak lie to the JAIC about their Escape ... and everything else! The missing timeline!
First a short recapitulation of the accident and the timeline of JAIC.
According to the Final Report (5) the 'accident' - the heeling - occurred at 01.15 hrs - caused by
(a) the loss of the visor (after 10-20 minutes of noise and destruction of structure and badly designed outfittings/locks by a German shipyard allegedly heard by various unknown persons aboard) that ripped open the ramp - and
(b) water that entered the superstructure 2.5 meters above waterline (when the bow pitched below water) and ended up in the side of the superstructure (the car deck) and suddenly (sic) listed the ship,
At 01.16 hrs the angle of list was 15 degrees (you need about 500 tonnes of water in the superstructure for that) and the vessel turned 180° East 500 meters West of the lost visor,
at 01.20 hrs 30 degrees list with the bow in lee after the turn (you need > 1 500 tons of water for that, and that water should now flow out according basic laws of physics),
at 01.24 hrs the lifeboat alarm was raised on and inside the ship (a little late to say the least!) and the list was (about) 40 degrees (you need > 2 000 tons in the superstructure for it and you wonder how it came in through the bow in lee?) - the ship was stable (physically impossible),
at 01.30 hrs the angle of list was 60-70 degrees (or more) - but the ferry was still stable (physically impossible).
at 01.36 hrs the angle of list was 90°.
At 01.52 hrs the ship allegedly finally sank 1.9 1 560 meters East of the lost visor after having drifted sideways for 22 minutes with the astonishing speed >2,2 knots!
There is no evidence or proof for any of these events of the timeline - e.g. 70 degrees stable listing at 01.30 hrs 15 minutes after the 'accident' - or then 22 minutes 'sinking' while drifting >1 200 meters (final sinking after 01.52 hrs). No capsize is ever recorded. But this is the official story. It is a 100% invention of the JAIC.
On 16 February 2009 Margus Kurm, Chairman of the Committee, Leading Public Prosecutor, handed in a report to the Estonian government. It was the result of his Committee studying the old info and the latest research studies done by the SSPA consortium and the HSVA/TUHH consortium 2006-2008 of the JAIC findings 1994-1997
It concludes that the ferry listed in four different ways and that 90° heel occurred at four different times, i.e. at 1.13, 1.24, 1.30 and 1.36 hrs!
When the M/S Estonia was listing 90° as shown below by the SSPA consortium:
Two Estonian survivors walked down the flat side towards the bow and saw that the visor was missing ... and that the ramp was closed ... but to be 100% sure ... one of them climbed down on the visor! The two Estonians are Antti Arak and Ain-Alar Juhanson and Margus Kurm, Chairman of the Committee, Leading Public Prosecutor in Estonia, has met them and talked to them. Only problem is that they do not know when they did the stunt - at 1.13, 1.24, 1.30 and 1.36 hrs? Or at all?
In a proper timeline you can only do it once. Here is the Kurm data how M/S Estonia listed in four different ways:
I and Heiwa Co suggest that the 90° heel occurred at 1.34 hrs, when the clock on the bridge stopped and when all survivors jumped into the sea, and that the ship sank 1.35 hrs due to hull leakage and open, watertight doors.
Margus Kurm, Chairman of an Estonian Investgation Committee and Leading Public Prosecutor in Estonia thinks that the 90° heel occurred at four different times, i.e. 01.13, 01.24, 01.30 and 01.36 (JAIC!) hrs, and that the ship sank 1.52 hrs. Kurm never asked the Estonian crew below when they thought the list was 90°. Kurm didn't bother to pipoint a timeline.
The real Events - Water in the Engine Room - the Lifeboat Alarm - the Crew Escape
No civilian survivor has provided evidence for above fairy tale put together by the JAIC. According to the majority of all survivors, crew and passengers, there were an impact followed by another longer loud sound and then a sudden listing, >30 degrees, the latter at about 01.02 hrs, i.e.13 minutes earlier than officially stated by JAIC, i.e. all times/angles of heel are not proven. The ferry then, later, became stable at a smaller angle of list, so that persons could escape during 5-10 minutes and it would appear that the vessel was stopped in the water then and was not drifting at 2.2 knots speed. The lifeboat alarm was raised, if it were raised, 1.33 first nine or 22 minutes after the 'accident' and when most survivors had escaped to the open and when it was impossible to get out. Actually very few survivors have mentioned the lifeboat alarm.
What caused the sudden listing 30° and up righting to <10° list so you could escape and when took it place, i.e. what was the real cause of the accident in lieu of the allegedly defective visor locks? The JAIC suggested that water loaded on the car deck inside the superstructure very soon after the accident caused the listing that always increased, but there is no evidence of any kind for that. A critical amount of water (1 800 tons) on the car deck in the superstructure would have caused immediate capsize and floating upside down. Simple stability calculations show this.
The objective of this chapter is to demonstrate that the three testimonies below are not correct - they are 100% falsifications. The persons behind the testimonies are a different matter. It is very probable that
(a) the Estonian crewmembers, shocked after being rescued, were asked, or forced, or kindly convinced to say something that never happened, and
(b) that, whatever the Estonian crewmembers said, it was edited, particularly the times, in the Final report (5) to suit the JAIC's false sequences of events and timeline.
There are in fact two false but official sequences of the 'accident': In the first attempt of the JAIC - September/October 1994 - it was only a leaking bow ramp that caused the 'accident'; the Estonian crewmembers were told to say that they saw that the closed bow ramp was leaking a little so that water came into the superstructure.
Later, in the second round/attempt, - December 1994 - the JAIC concluded that it was a fully opened ramp that caused the sudden water inflow/listing and that the ramp then suddenly closed itself (?) so that the sinking took so long a time. But the Estonian crewmembers had never seen an open ramp, even if the JAIC and the media said the opposite.
They had seen water in the engine room and they had started bilge pumps - all censored.
The job to modify - read falsify - the testimonies of the Estonian crewmembers was not very well done by the JAIC. Actually - the JAIC soon realised that either invented scenario would have led to immediate capsize - floating upside down. So the JAIC convinced some 'experts' to announce that a ferry does not capsize with water in the superstructure but floats in stable condition on the deck house, while these spaces were being filled (sic) with water, and that the ferry drifts, at high uniform speed, and suddenly - PLOFF - sinks with all buoyancy lost! And they tried to fit the timeline to this fairy tale.
Third engineer Treu was allegedly in the ECR on deck 1
before and after the 'accident' - the listing
- occurred at 01.15 hrs. Treu never experienced the
sudden listing like all other survivors at 01.02 hrs.
According Treu the ferry just started to list slowly -
nothing to worry about. Treu therefore stayed for about 10
minutes (!) down inside the hull and called the bridge by
telephone several times about saving the ship, while there
was full panic everywhere else, finally saying (sic) that he
was leaving deck 1 to go up to deck 8 after 01.25
hrs. Chapter 6.2.3 in (5) describes his
experiences after the listing and his escape 10
minutes later - in seven interviews
1994-1996:92 Figure 1.48.1 -
The 'Estonia' with 70 degrees heel - escape from
the ECR - unstable
condition In a ... testimony (Treu) said he left at
about 01.30 hrs and that the list was at this time
70-75 degrees. (Treu) has also said that he left
about 01.25 hrs, not earlier ... .
(Treu) took the engine staff's own staircase
(sic) to deck 8 to
the emergency diesel generator. ... (Treu) checked
the emergency diesel generator, which was still
running. The ship was at this time lying on her
side ... the list was 90 degrees ... the emergency
generator shut down ... (Treu) ... moved aft along
the hull ... When the emergency diesel generator
stopped ... the hard plastic flooring on the deck
was falling on him ... (Treu) saw that some
passengers had opened life raft containers
..." Thus, our hero Treu on deck 1 tried to
re-start the main engines after the lifeboat
alarm at 01.22 hrs (the JAIC does not explain why),
then he telephoned the bridge that he was going
(sic) up and then, a few minutes later (!), he
attended the emergency generator on deck 8 before
Figure 1.48.1 - The 'Estonia' with 70 degrees heel - escape from the ECR - unstable condition
In a ... testimony (Treu) said he left at about 01.30 hrs and that the list was at this time 70-75 degrees. (Treu) has also said that he left about 01.25 hrs, not earlier ... . (Treu) took the engine staff's own staircase (sic) to deck 8 to the emergency diesel generator. ... (Treu) checked the emergency diesel generator, which was still running. The ship was at this time lying on her side ... the list was 90 degrees ... the emergency generator shut down ... (Treu) ... moved aft along the hull ... When the emergency diesel generator stopped ... the hard plastic flooring on the deck was falling on him ... (Treu) saw that some passengers had opened life raft containers ..."
Thus, our hero Treu on deck 1 tried to re-start the main engines after the lifeboat alarm at 01.22 hrs (the JAIC does not explain why), then he telephoned the bridge that he was going (sic) up and then, a few minutes later (!), he attended the emergency generator on deck 8 before jumping overboard.
No Panic - Treu walked up to deck 8 when list was 90°!
But our hero Treu never panicked before he decided to escape - he ignored the lifeboat alarm at 01.22 hrs and stayed on for another 3-6 minutes down in the ECR on deck 1 trying to save the ship (starting pumps, engines, telephoning the bridge several times, etc.), while the 'Estonia' heeled from 0 to > 60-70 degrees. Treu was never afraid that the ship would turn upside down and that he was going to be trapped inside the hull.
Treu was questioned the last time on 28 February 1996 as a witness by the Estonian Transport Investigation Bureau (the story had changed a little - no starting pumps or main engines, no telephone calls, no visit to the emergency generator):
"... When he (Treu) was in the ECR he heard the "Mr Skylight to number one and two" and the (life)boat alarms (i.e. at 01.22-01.24 hrs). The angle of list was >20 degrees. When the auxiliary engines (generators) tripped, when the angle of list was 40 - 45 degrees, he decided to leave the ECR via the chimney (sic). Sillaste and Kadak had left before him. He crept (sic) out from the ECR at about 01.25 hrs, not before, as it was the last time he looked at the watch. His escape took 2 - 3 minutes (sic) and when he reached open deck, the angle of list was 70 - 75 degrees."
OK, according to the Final report (5) 1994/5 testimonies Treu took a staircase, in 1996 the escape was via the chimney - say via vertical ladders as there is no staircase in the chimney (read engine room uptake). And when he got out on deck 9, he went down to the emergency generator on deck 8. How do you get to the emergency generator from the chimney, when the angle of list is 70-75 degrees? There is no factual truth in Treu's statements - it is 100% fairy tale! Nobody could do what Treu did! Treu later refuses to comment about his obvious lies. Why is it so difficult to tell the truth?
Treu finally jumped into the water and swam to lifeboat C where he met Mr. Rolf Sörman that noted that Treu had a survival suit on. They were soon rescued by a helicopter. They later also met at hospital in Finland. Sörman noticed that Treu had managed to get his passport with him after having left the control room.
System engineer Sillaste, another hero, was allegedly on deck 0 below and forward of the ECR urgently repairing the toilet system, when the 'accident' - the listing - occurred and went to the ECR through one or two watertight doors and up one ladder - it took one or two minutes. This was while all the other passengers immediately tried to reach deck 7; 2.1 and 2.12, and there was panic among the passengers on decks 1, 4, 5 and 6. But Sillaste on deck 0 did not panic!
He decided to go and see his boss Treu in the ECR. To discuss what was going on! No panic! Let's first discuss in peace and quiet! No risk that the ship sinks! Can we believe that?
Chapter 6.2.4 in (5) describes his incredible experiences
in five interviews 1994-1996. He thus, after the listing,
moved to the engine control
"... When he was in the engine room he heard the 'Häire, häire' alarm from the information and the "Mr Skylight to number one and two" alarm. The angle of list was 20 - 30 degrees. Treu told him and Kadak to escape from the ECR after the main engines had tripped, when the angle of list was 60 - 80 degrees (very difficult to estimate). Treu remained in the ECR. He (Sillaste) decided to leave the ECR via the boiler room (sic) to deck 8. His escape took 1 - 2 minutes and when he reached open deck, the angle of list was 60 - 80 degrees. At 01.27 hrs he was in a life raft together with, e.g. Kadak, Linde, Sirje Juhanson, Mats Finanger, Alexandr Voronin (total 16 persons)."
Sillaste and Kadak thus climbed seven decks up in a very short time - via the 'boiler room' - maybe he meant engine room. The watertight doors were closed, but to get to the engine room one watertight door must be opened again. If the list was >60 degrees, it must have been very difficult to walk on the decks ... . This is another fairy tale that is similar to Treu's. Who told Sillaste to make it up? Sillaste has later, bravely, stated that he is misquoted, i.e. it is not correct what the JAIC says he said. So what happened really?
Hannes Kadak - in the Workshop - notices a 'strange' Listing - arrived at deck 8 when list was 90°!
Motorman Kadak, another little hero, was allegedly in
the workshop on deck 1 on starboard side of the control
room, when the listing to starboard occurred and he walked
to the control room. It was his first night aboard the
ship. He must have walked upwards against the list. Chapter
6.2.5 in (5) describes his experiences in three interviews
Kadak was interviewed at 11.00 hrs on 29 September 1994 at Turku hospital by Mr. T. Laan. The language used was Estonian. The protocol was later translated by the interpreter Ms. H. Laan:
"... The main engines stopped ... at this moment it was clear to everybody that the ship was sinking (sic) ... I, together with Henric (Sillaste) left the ECR via the emergency exist and opened a watertight door. ... On the way up the generators stopped and the emergency generator started automatically. When we came up/out the angle of list was 90 degrees and the emergency generator stopped. I put on a life jacket and slid into the water".
Interestingly enough Kadak believed that the ship was sinking due to the listing, when the main engines stopped. Evidently an emergency escape does not contain a watertight door. Hannes Kadak (HK) was interviewed a last time by the JAIC on 31 March 1995. The protocol was made by 'expert' Bengt Schager (BS):
BS: What happened when you saved yourself?
It is clear that Kadak claims that he 'walked' from the the chimney (sic) at the centreline to the upper port side of the ship (deckhouse) 12 metres above him, when the list was 90 degrees.
But how did he manage to do that?
He could not stand up in the control room. The chimney port side was 12 meters below the upper, port side of the ship. The decks 7 and 8 were vertical walls!
Evidently Kadak must have got out much earlier (say at 01.08 hrs?) - because you cannot walk - or pull yourself - up to the port ship's side unless the angle of list is <30 degrees! Expert Schager and the JAIC believe that you can walk up a vertical wall! So this is another fairy tale that sounds like Sillaste's and Treu's. Who told them to make it up?
Silver Linde - another Fairy Story from the Deck House - Decks 5-8
Silver Linde, the Estonian seaman who did the hourly fire watches on the 'Estonia' at sea between 22.00 pm and 02.00 am (and maintenance work in port between 10.00 am and 02.00 pm) and who joined Sillaste and Kadak on the port upper side of the 'Estonia' and shared the same life raft S, was questioned the last time on 25 January 1996 as a witness by the Estonian Transport Investigation Bureau. This writer believes a lot of what Linde is saying except the times given. From early newspaper interviews it is clear that Linde experienced the sudden listing already at 01.02 hrs. Linde had been on the car deck as part of his fire patrol round and had not seen any water there and not heard any noise. Then he had returned to the bridge - when probably the big bangs occurred around 00.55-58 hrs. And then he had, allegedly, been ordered down to investigate strange sounds on the car deck or leakage on deck 1 reported by phone to the bridge (of which there is no evidence):
"He (Linde) was at the information (deck 5), when the ship suddenly listed. He (and a Swede) fell. He (Linde) ran down to deck 4 and met escaping passengers from deck 1. He (Linde) then escaped via the central stairwell from deck 4 to deck 7, it took one minute, and reached open deck. The angle of list was 30 degrees or a little more. When he was on deck 7, he heard the 'Häire, häire' alarm from the information and the "Mr Skylight to number one and two" alarm (which alarms Sillaste and Kadak heard in the ECR at 01.22-01.24 hrs). Tormi Ainsalu was announcing the alarm. He (Linde) was then standing on the wall to deck 8 below a lifeboat, the angle of list was 70 - 75 degrees or 80 - 90 degrees, the ship was rolling. The time was 01.24 hrs. He was in a life raft together with, e.g. Kadak, Sillaste, Sirje Juhanson, Marge Rull, Raivo Tõnisson (total 16 persons). "
This story is clear and simple - no heroic work. There was a sudden list - Linde tried to save himself immediately like all passengers - no 5-10 minutes wait like his colleagues in the ECR - but he was in the same raft at Kadak and Sillaste. Strange?
Linde had been interviewed eight times earlier by the JAIC and the police - from 6.2.2 in the Final report:
"(Linde) ... on the bridge before being ordered down ... He ran to the information desk on deck 5 to ask them to unlock the car deck doors ... when he arrived at the information desk ... (Linde) had to wait for a couple of minutes. While he was waiting, the ship heeled over so much that all objects fell. He continued down to deck 4 ... he realized that the situation had become serious. The list was now around 25-30 degrees. He ran to deck 7 ... he reported ... that the people said "deck 1 is under water". ... he managed to save himself by getting to a life raft on the ship's side ... he was in the life raft at 0124 hrs ...
The people Linde met on deck 4 came from deck 1 and the passenger compartments just forward of the Engine Control Room, where Treu, Silllaste och Kadak were starting pumps, etc. Many of these passengers had noticed water on deck 1 and started evacuation before the sudden listing occurred and thought the ship was leaking and sinking. The JAIC conveniently ignored what these passengers reported. It is quite possible that Linde met Treu, Sillaste and Kadak on their way up! They stayed together! In some strange testimonies Treu says that he saw Linde on the car deck (via a TV-monitor) just before the accident.
The emergency Exit - the Escape Route - miraculous Evacuation
As seen from above first three Estonian testimonies (edited of course by the JAIC based on several questionings) the watertight doors of the ferry were open, when the listing occurred. If they were closed later is uncertain, even if the three crewmembers say so, as there is no indication panel for the 20 watertight doors in the ECR. Kadak/Sillaste must later have opened a watertight door to get out as the ECR was located inside a watertight compartment with watertight doors forward and aft. Treu must also have passed a watertight door to get out!
You could not remotely close the watertight doors from the ECR. It was only possible from the bridge 1.23. If a watertight door was open it could only be closed manually at the door itself (apart remotely from the bridge). If a watertight door were closed, it could be opened manually - it took about 15 seconds. Alarm bells would ring when the door closed.
To reach the ECR Sillaste had had to go through one or two open watertight doors on deck 0. They must then have been open or were being opened.
Sillaste and Kadak allegedly left the ECR on deck 1 after the lifeboat alarm at 01.22 hrs, say at 01.23 hrs when Linde was already on deck 7 standing on the wall to deck 8. They took the emergency exit. The angle of list was 45-50-60 degrees (difficult to estimate - but they could not have been standing on the floor/deck 1 of the ECR at that time and how and where they stood in the ECR is not described - on the starboard wall?). The emergency diesel generator started, i.e. there was a black-out. After one, two or three minutes they were on open deck 8 at the chimney port side adjacent to the emergency diesel generator, which stopped. Now there was a problem - deck 7 port side was 12 meters above them!
The miraculous escape from deck 1 to deck 8 - a 20 meters inclined climb on ladders in the chimney/engine uptake or on horizontal ladders and vertical platforms, with regard to the angle of list - thus took only a few minutes.
It is of course impossible to climb up through a tilting engine room uptake but Sillaste and Kadak kept together and got into the same life raft as Silver Linde (33). According Linde the raft was on the port (uppermost), flat side of the ferry, before it got into the water, i.e. Sillaste and Kadak had therefore managed to climb up another 12 meters from the chimney/funnel on deck 8 at the centreline, which was 10 meters below the port side high above, then flat outside side of the ship to get into the raft.
How Sillaste and Kadak managed to climb up to the port (upper) side from the exit of the emergency exit (that does not exist) near the centreline of the ship, when the listing was 90 degrees and when they had just reached deck 8, is a mystery - see figures 1.48.1/2 below. They had to climb 12 meters straight up!
Survivor RS 2.12 has told the writer that he and a friend (Y) were on deck 8 port side, when the normal lights and also the emergency lights went out. Then RS and Y climbed a ladder up to the helicopter deck 9 aft of the funnel. At this time lose items on the port deck guard rail dropped down on the persons below. The angle of list was then about 70-80 degrees, so they almost walked on the side of the deck house.
When RS was on the edge of the helicopter deck (deck 9, which sloped straight into the water) he observed two persons, one tall and one short at the funnel. The short shouted "water is coming in on cardeck", but was silenced by the other with a fist in the face. Then the angle of list was about 90 degrees and the two persons could only move on the flat side of the funnel.
These two persons could hardly have been Sillaste and Kadak, who were then already on the port, upper side of the deck house 12 meters above the horizontal funnel, where RS was standing. Maybe RS imagined the whole thing?
When the funnel (pointing South) came under water there was a big, white cloud. RS estimates/guesses that the time was then about 01.20-01.25 hrs (they had started their escape from the Admiral's pub at 01.02 hrs 2.12). RS and Y felt that they could not stay on the ship. RS felt as if the 'Estonia' started to roll upside down, so they decided to jump into the water - into the waves and the wind, i.e. towards the stern with the funnel to the left. RS was never up and out on the upper port side, which was behind and above him. RS dived into the waves and went deep down. RS is/was a dive instructor with about 1 000 dives - RS had to release lung pressure 5 times when he was below water. RS swam against the waves - in a southward direction - and found a lifeboat - where he met Treu! The ship sank maybe 15 minutes later. Y drowned.
If Sillaste and Kadak had escaped through the engine casing/chimney they should have to abandon ship like RS and Treu - jump into the water and swim into the wind. But they ended up in a life raft that was launched from the port upper side in the North direction. How was it possible?
The Mystery - how did Treu, Sillaste and Kadak escape to Deck 8?
The big mystery is of course, how Sillaste and Kadak got out of the ECR on deck 1 port side to deck port side 8 in the first place after having stayed down in the ECR for >8 minutes. And it is strange that the JAIC never asked them how they really got out. In above testimonies three different escape routes are stated - crew stairwell, emergency escape, chimney. It is not easy to falsify testimonies. The JAIC knew that Treu, Sillaste and Kadak lied!
Treu left the ECR later, say at 01.25-01.27 hrs, when the list was 70-75 degrees, i.e. he must then have stood on the starboard, lower wall of the ECR, which then had become the floor - the watertight doors were closed - and he took the engine staff's own staircase to deck 8, where the emergency generator was still running - soon to stop.
But there is no engine staff's own staircase from the ECR on deck 1 in the hull! The ECR was located between two watertight bulkheads and the 'normal' access was through watertight doors (that should have been closed at sea). Then there was the 'emergency exit' - a vertical ladder straight up to deck 2 the car deck three meters above him. It was of course useless, when the list was 70-75 degrees! But Treu managed to escape. He could in principle only reach deck 2 via the emergency escape.
But, a few minutes later, Treu was allegedly inside the emergency generator room deck 8 (on the port, upper side) and soon after out on open deck 8 again (which was like a vertical wall!). It seems as if Treu overtook Sillaste and Kadak after the escape from the ECR, as he arrived at the emergency generator before it stopped. Soon afterwards Treu was swept into the water on the South starboard side, even if the location on deck 8 port side at that time was about 10 meters above water - see figures below. Treu must have been standing on the wall between decks 8 and 9 well away from any water at that time - 01.30 hrs - if we believe the JAIC. The ship should have sunk 22 minutes later after having drifted >1 200 meters. Treu swam out to a lifeboat on the South starboard side of the ferry (it had been ripped off the ferry) and watched the sinking, i.e. Treu's lifeboat had drifted with exactly the same speed as 'Estonia' for 22 minutes. Can we believe that?
Facts about the Emergency Exit from the ECR on Deck 1
The emergency exit from the ECR on deck 1 is, as stated, a vertical ladder to deck 2 - the car deck (it is the only way out of the ECR, when the watertight doors are closed).
But how did Sillaste and Kadak then get up to open deck 8 in a few minutes, when all decks and stairs were sloping >40-60 degrees?
From the exit of the emergency ladder on deck 2 (the car deck) there was a 10 meters walk to the stairwell on deck 2 and then another 17 meter straight up to pass five or six deck levels! And when they reached deck 8, how did they get up and out on the port, flat ship's side - it was another 12 meters straight up - on a 90 degrees/vertical sloping deck?
How do you climb a wall?
The writer has tested to escape from ECRs on deck 0 or 1 to an upper deck 8 on various ferries, when they were upright. A typical escape is out from the ECR (inside the engine room) - up a stairway (to the car deck) - then a walk on the deck - then up two stairs to deck 4 - then a walk on that deck in a corridor and turning to reach the next stairs - then up the final four stairs. It can be done in two minutes - but the ship must be upright. When the ship is listing more than 20 degrees, it is no longer possible.
Untrue Testimonies = Fairy Tales
The testimonies or fairy tales of Sillaste and Kadak in the Final Report (5) as quoted above cannot be correct about their escapes from the ECR. Actually the testimonies clearly show that the three persons are not telling the truth - it is just invented stories. It is very likely that it is was the JAIC itself that made up/invented! the three testimonies of the engine crew - because a normal engine crew member would never have stayed down in the engine room for 10 minutes. They would have - like Linde - escaped immediately to the open.
A repetition: Treu remained alone in the ECR after Sillaste and Kadak had left and then he took "the engine staff's own staircase to deck 8", when the list was 70-75 degrees.
This testimony cannot be correct. An obvious lie.
First of all there is no staircase from the ECR and, second, you cannot walk in stairs, when the list is 70-75 degrees. So how did Treu, Sillaste and Kadak get out?
The Way out - and an unstable Ship - as per the JAIC
A plot of the ship's course, speed, angle of list, amounts of water inside the ship is shown in 1.9. This plot is another falsification.
This is one of the obvious stupid errors of the Final report (5). The lee side below water of the deck house is watertight - as the whole ship floats on it - while the windward, upper side is open - persons are escaping through doors and windows. Only an ignorant child believes such fairy tales.
The Escape Route - only to Deck 2, the Car Deck
The escape route via the emergency exit from the ECR on deck 1 and stairs in the deckhouse is shown in red in the figures. It is a simplification - the vertical escape ladder from the ECR on deck 1 ends on the car deck 2 and the stairs are10-15 meters apart on decks 2 or 4. Note the last bit to the emergency generator - out on deck 7 and then up to deck 8.
How did Treu reach the emergency generator? And how did all three get up to the port, upper side of the ship, when they reached decks 6, 7 or 8 at the centreline of the ship - the port flat, upper side of the ship was >10 meters above them? How do you climb a wall?
Actually - the investigators of the JAIC are and were fully aware of the fact that the Final Report as quoted above is wrong or misleading - informally they93 have later suggested that the escape from the ECR was not as stated (via the 'emergency exit' or a 'crew stairwell') but via another route - via seven vertical ladders in the engine casing starting in the engine room (aft of the ECR) up to the funnel at deck 9 (via the exhaust boiler room on deck 8)!
The Engine Casing
To reach the engine casing from the ECR you have to pass one watertight door (between the ECR and the engine room) and then reach the first ladder in the casing via a grating in the engine room. But it is in fact impossible to get from the ECR to the engine casing uptake, when the list is >40 degrees.
The vertical ladders in the engine casing are then no escape route - in a fire in the engine room the casing will be full of smoke. The easiest escape from the engine room is of course the emergency escape ladder to the car deck via a fire door. Then you are safe (when the ship is upright). The car (no. 2) deck in the superstructure is the emergency station with a fire in the Engine room (the hull below). There is A-60 fire insulation between the Engine room and the car deck and the CO2 fire extinguishing control is located on the car deck.
The normally vertical ladders in the casing are 40 cms wide with rungs every 30 cms. You cannot climb them, when the list is >25 degrees. It is evidently impossible to even use a ladder when it is tilted 60 degrees. The ladders in the engine casing are furthermore not lined up between the deck platforms - you cannot get from one ladder to another, when the ship is listing. The only purpose of the ladders is to allow maintenance of exhaust pipes and cleaning, etc. And when you reach the funnel at amidships on deck 9 - how do you climb up to the port side of the ship 10 meters higher up? How do you climb a wall?
Sillaste and Kadak were in a life raft at 01.27 hrs together with Linde (33), who had launched it himself on the upper, port side, which was then flat but sloping towards the stern. How did Sillaste and Kadak get to and into the life raft, if they escaped via the engine casing ladders and the funnel and arrived there - at the funnel - when the list was 80 degrees?
Tests on ships similar the 'Estonia' show that there is no possibility at all to get out of the ECR on deck 1 to deck 8, when the angle of list is >20 degrees. Therefore the Final Report above about the engine crew escape from the ECR is pure falsified disinformation.
Stable Condition at 01.30 hrs
A stable condition with water in the engine room and the work shop and other compartments on decks 0 and 1 below the car deck, when the listing is 70 degrees at 01.30 hrs (28 minutes after the listing at 01.02 hrs - the ship sinks completely below water after another few minutes) is shown in the figure 1.48.2 below.
Any statements to the effect that the ship would float another 16-20 minutes in this condition - floating on the deck house (and drift >1 200 meters at a speed of >2,2 knots) - is just propaganda formulated by the Swedish Board of Psychological Defence - see next chapter - and repeated by the Swedish National Maritime Administration and Johan Franson, director of safety at sea.
Impossible to leave the ECR
It is of course impossible to leave the ECR at this stage. The stairs in the longitudinal direction are almost horizontal, i.e. the steps and the landings are vertical - there is no possibility to get from the landing at, e.g. deck 7 to the open, port, upper side 12 meters above!
The 40 cms wide vertical ladders in engine casing with steps every 30 cms are at this time also almost horizontal and you cannot climb on them. Water in the deckhouse has started to flood the car deck from deck 4. If Treu had tried to leave the ECR at this time, he must have swam up through water filled staircases! As it was not possible, Treu should have been trapped inside the ECR. But Treu survived in good health - how and when did he get out? And who told him to tell the untruthful testimony?
The reason, why the JAIC delayed the sinking - or disappearance - of the ship until after 01.50 hrs, was partly to enable the engine crew to escape at 01.30 hrs. On paper - the JAIC never understood, when it falsified all the testimonies, that escape from the ECR was then impossible. The JAIC invented the testimonies from the ECR. Nobody could have remained there for 8-10 minutes after the sudden 'listing', whenever it took place. The inventions were necessary to present 'witnesses' that had seen water on the car deck - on a TV monitor. But - as will be shown below - the engine crew probably escaped immediately at 01.02 hrs - like all the passengers. They never witnessed anything in the ECR.
The above quoted testimonies from the Final report are fantasies, fairy tales, inventions - to cover up the real cause of the accident. Because the three crew in the Engine room - Treu, Kadak and Sillaste - know exactly what happened - two big bangs, hull leakage, water in the hull on decks 0 and 1, open watertight doors, etc. That the plotted sequence of events is false has already been shown in 1.9. It is clear that we are encountering a quite clever manipulation here - false statements from the engine crew about their escapes and a false plot created by dr Huss. One falsification supporting another.
Probable Escape Route from the ECR
The three persons in the ECR must have left the ECR much earlier - if they ever were there, when the sudden listing occurred at 01.02 hrs due to leakage and water inside the hull on deck 0 - in order to survive.
There are two possibilities. In Figure 1.48.3 Escape routes from the ECR on deck 1 the ECR is situated on deck 1 left. Right is the passenger cabin spaces. Just outside the ECR forward outside a watertight door is a stairwell leading up to deck 4 and then to deck 7. Inside the ECR adjacent to the watertight door is a trunk with an emergency ladder to deck 2.
Either they used the passenger staircase - i.e. the first staircase forward outside the ECR from passenger spaces on deck 1 reachable via a watertight door at the forward bulkhead of the ECR - and then they started evacuation immediately at 01.02 hrs, as all the other passengers on deck 1. There was no time for seven or ten minutes of heroic work or hearing alarms in the ECR. They would then arrive on open deck 7 a few minutes later (like many other, young strong survivors from deck 1 and Linde) and had then to climb up to deck 8 to reach the emergency generator (if they ever were there). It is possible.
But no surviving passengers on deck 1 noted any engine crew member from the ECR escape up the stairways to deck 4, but maybe they escaped before the passengers started to leave. All surviving passengers describes great difficulties to reach the open deck 7 port from the stairwell at centreline due to the list - the landing between the stairs and the deck house side door (to open deck 7 port) was sloping against them.
Alternatively they could have escaped through the engine casing using the vertical ladders there. It would have taken longer time, but it was still possible, as long as the angle of list was <20 degrees. They of course had to pass a watertight (but open) door from the ECR into the engine room. Then, after climbing eight ladders they would arrive to the funnel on deck 9 and some other survivors say they saw two of the engine crew there. And it was still time to get out on the port side and jump into the life raft with Linde.
(Addendum December 2008 - Drawings of the ladder arrangement in the engine casing have become available in 2008.
The ladders are slooping 60° in the longitudinal direction and there are open areas between some. At >20° heel it is not possible to use them; you slide off the steps and open areas and regardless, at deck 7 you are at the centre line and cannot reach the port side open deck that is high above you. It is probable that the Treu, Sillaste and Kadak escaped via these ladders, but it must have been done very early when the heel was <15°. The ladders are censored in the Final report, i.e. not shown on any drawings).
This writer believes that it does not matter how they escaped, but that that it is clear that Treu, Sillaste and Kadak could only have escaped, if they started the escape at once, like Linde, where ever they were, before or after the two big bangs before the 'Estonia' lost its initial stability - but remained stable, albeit with a list. To reach the upper, port side and get into a life raft at 01.30 hrs, they must have been on the deck 7 port side already at, say 01.10 hrs, and then climbed up on the outer ship side like all other passengers and Linde, which started to evacuate at 01.02 hrs. They probably escaped together - on open deck 7. Sillaste, Kadak and Treu got out on the port side.
Treu may have gone to the emergency generator and could later not reach the port side 10 meters above him, so he jumped into the water on the starboard side. They could thus never have heard any alarms at 01.20 hrs in the ECR.
It is very possible that the three engine crew members were not in the ECR at all. They might very well have been alarmed before the sudden listing (at 01.02 hrs) and was mustering with the crew on deck 7. Thus they easily escaped and survived. The false story about repairs (by Sillaste) and then their gathering in the ECR after the sudden listing for seven minutes must have been made up by somebody and then Treu, Sillaste and Kadak were forced to repeat that story to the media and the JAIC.
In the confusion that false story gained acceptance and it is one of the corner stones of the false Final report (5). No doubt professional disinformation experts assisted to spread the false story.
Miraculous Escape - a well constructed emergency Escape Trunk - the Germans come to the help of the JAIC !
OR, if the three engine crew actually were in the engine room or the ECR on deck 1 at 01.25-01.30 hrs, when the angle of heel was 45-50-60-70-75 degrees, and if they were on open deck 8 a few minutes later and later on the flat, open port side of the deck house/superstructure, they should of course tell us, how this miraculous escape was possible. Estonian journalists should ask them.
The Germans have reported (chapter 2.5.2 their Final report) that "The centre casing (in the superstructure) contained staircases from the spaces below the car deck, lift trunks and various utility spaces for machinery and catering functions. ... Emergency escape trunks from the engine room area were arranged inside the casing".. The JAIC has never mentioned these emergency escape trunks from the engine rooms. And there was no staircase from the ECR! It was one of the major design faults of the ship. There was only a vertical ladder to deck 2.
New Information by Sillaste 1998
In May 1998 the British journalist Phillip Wearne actually asked Sillaste how he got out and what happened, when Sillaste was in one of the engine rooms on deck 0 (as reported in the German Final report 21.2.4). The estimated times of the JAIC of the events are then shown and then more realistic times based on, e.g. 2.2, i.e, in order to get out on the port outer side together with Linde Sillaste must have been out at 01.10 hrs. There is little time for Sillaste in the official sequence to be in the ECR and then to get out and save himself:93
They managed to open the door - it was above their heads (the heel was 70 degrees) - by pressing their backs against it! How?
The last statement is also interesting - the emergency exit was well constructed by the yard! But did it really exist? From the ECR on deck 1 to deck 8 (the boiler room)? It is not shown on any drawings?
Why would you fit an emergency exit from an ECR located outside the engine room to exit seven decks higher up to be used by engineers? What about the passengers on the same deck? How were they supposed to get out?
A square vertical tube shaft 20 meters high that would fill with smoke, if it were a fire in the engine room! The easiest way to escape from the ECR was to move to the passenger space forward (see fig. 1.48.3 above) or to the engine room aft - through a watertight door and use a normal stairwell to get up/out. Or to take the vertical emergency ladder inside the ECR to deck 2 - the car deck - the official emergency exit shown on the drawings (see fig.1.48.3 above)!
The writer has asked the German expert captain Werner Hummel (several times) to provide the drawings and an explanation for the alleged 'emergency exit well constructed by the yard' to be used only by engineers. Where did it start and end? How was it protected at the bottom? No reply! Because the emergency exists do not exist! Werner is a humbug of Hamburg.
Could Sillaste really mix up the engine casing with a well constructed emergency exit? And why was there no normal exit - a staircase to deck 2 - from the ECR inside two watertight bulkheads?
Actually well constructed, protected emergency exits are fitted only on single deck cargo ships with a single open engine room with no protected escape from deck 0. It is a trunk that starts at deck 0, protected by a fire door at the bottom, and ends on the weather deck, protected by a weather tight hatch. If the normal escape from the engine room - a sloping ladder to the upper deck - is blocked by smoke, you go down to deck 0 and take the protected emergency exit vertical ladder to get out.
Why does the German group of experts make us believe that there existed on the 'Estonia' one or two 20-25 meters long vertical escape trunks for the engine crew from the engine rooms on deck 0 through a superstructure (two decks) and through a deck house (four or five decks) ending on deck 8 or 9, when the escape route from deck 1 to deck 2 is clearly shown on all drawings? What was the logic behind such trunks? To escape? But if there were a fire in the engine room, the engine crew should only escape to deck 2 - the car deck - and fight the fire from there. The CO2 room with controls was located on deck 2. And there is an escape trunk for that.
Actually - in 1997 the German expert captain Hummel/Humbug flew down to see the writer at his office and tried to convince the writer for a whole day that his observations about stability - immediate capsize - and engine crew escape - not possible from deck 1 at >30 degrees list - were wrong. Hummel made a very strange impression - and convinced the writer that he was not a serious accident investigator either. He was just playing his game - whatever it was. After this stupid attempt to intimidate the writer, Hummel has never replied to any questions of the writer.
Re-assess all Ships with regard to Evacuation
The Final Report (5) (page 228) concludes with:
"A significant factor in the ESTONIA-accident was the very quick increase in the list to an angle exceeding 30 degrees, leading to ... difficulties (sic) in getting out from inside the vessel ... Therefore all existing vessels should be re-assessed with regard to evacuation ... ."
Exactly - the writer had done it with his own ships. The result is that evacuation from an ECR on deck 1 to open deck 7 or 8 is impossible, when the list exceeds 20 degrees, so the crew shall evacuate immediately and not play heroes. There are no tube shafts up the engine casing to the funnel. The result is as shown in the above analysis - the 'Estonia' engine crew evacuation as described in the Final Report cannot be correct - it must be a falsification. And another question:
Why hasn't the Swedish NMA re-assessed all existing Swedish ships with regard to evacuation? Why does the Swedish NMA sleep? Actually no Swedish or Finnish ferries were ever re-assessed as recommended by the JAIC.
Evidently it is not possible to escape from the ECR or engine room of any Swedish ferry, when the list is >30 degrees. It is apparently better not even to discuss the matter.
Strange Interrogations - the same Lies in 15 Interrogations
It is interesting to note that the Final Report (5) clearly states that the information about the engine crew escape originates from 15 different interrogations over several months - some of them by Finnish and Estonian police - but also by the JAIC itself.
Treu was, e.g. interviewed three times by the JAIC and three times he apparently stated that he escaped after 01.25 hrs via an engine crew staircase from the ECR (in later interviews he crept through the tube shaft?). It is of course a clear evidence of the incompetence of the JAIC that it never questioned that statement of Treu (how could he really use the escape route?), particularly in view of what the JAIC later says about escapes in general - chapter 16.7 in (5):
"... the possibilites for escape ... to open decks ceased, when the list was between 45 and 50 degrees. ... The time span for the evacuation to the open decks, from the time people started to the 45-to50-degree list, was thus between 15 and 20 (sic) minutes. For the majority, who were not alarmed until the first heel, the time span was about 10 minutes."
This is a very strange comment (apart from being total nonsense - you cannot get out on e.g. the ship's open port side from inside the ship, when the list is 45-50 degrees, or the JAIC states that the possibility to escape ceased, when the list was 45 degrees in spite of the fact that 3/E Treu escaped in two minutes, when the list was >70 degrees).
Were Treu, Sillaste and Kadak alarmed and did they escape before the List?
What was the 'alarm' that a majority aboard was not aware of before the sudden listing? Ten minutes of noise? The Final report (5) states that the various alarms were raised about seven minutes after the listing (at 01.15 hrs (sic)), when escape was impossible. But the Final report indicates that some people were alarmed before the list - due to noise - or a crew-only alarm? And is it true that the possibility of escape ceased, when the list was 45 to 50 degrees? The writer thinks that it was impossible for most passengers to escape, when the list was >20 degrees. Surviving passengers reported a sudden list >30 degrees and then a stable phase, when the list was less - say 15 degrees - and it was then that they managed to get out.
According to the recapitulation above of the JAIC the accident took place at 01.15 hrs and the angle of list was 40 degrees at 01.24 hrs, when the lifeboat alarm was raised. The lifeboat alarm was thus raised, when escape was not longer possible!
The JAIC has no comments to this amazing fact.
Regardless - escape was according to the JAIC possible during maximum nine minutes. But the JAIC suggests that people escaped during 20 minutes, e.g. between the sudden list at 01.15 hrs and 01.35 hrs, when the list was >80 degrees ??, which is not possible, so some people were apparently alarmed before the first heel! Who were they? What kind of alarm was it? Only one passenger is known to have started evacuation 5-10 minutes before the 'accident'. She stayed in a cabin on deck 1 and became worried for various reasons and walked up to deck 7 starboard side before the listing occurred.
Is it possible that only the crewmembers were alarmed, before the first heel and long before the passengers? The miraculous escape of the engine crew and many other crew members 1.42 could very well be explained with the simple theory that the crew actually escaped before the list took place - at 01.02 hrs! The Germans indicate this 3.18. The Germans suggest that some lifeboats were made ready before the listing occurred. Of course the ECR must have been informed from the bridge - or vice versa - that something was wrong, e.g. the ship was leaking and deck 0 was flooded.
Maybe Treu, Sillaste and Kadak told the JAIC that they noticed the leakage long before 01.00 hrs and actually tried to stop the leakage but escaped before the list occurred and the JAIC told them to make up completely different testimonies. That something was wrong on board before the listing occurred - at 01.02 hrs - is clear. Sillaste had been called upon to assist with something. He says it was a problem with the toilet system (one section of a limited number of cabins didn't work), but who fixes the toilet system in the middle of the night? There was no panic - they could easily fix the toilets in port.
State Prosecutor Kurm interviewed Treu, Sillaste and Kadak 2005-2006. Kurm reported 11 May 2007 at Glasgow:
1) there is no reason to doubt about the survivors' statements; and
It is a pity that chief prosecutor Kurm didn't ask Treu, Sillaste and Kadak about leakage into the engine room and why they started the bilge pumps. And how the chief witnesses managed to escape from the control room on deck port up to the chimney on deck 9 centreline and how then Sillaste and Kadak, when the list was say 60°, managed to climb up to the port open side of the ferry from the chimney at centreline! And how Treu managed to climb to the emergency generator room on deck 8 port side from the chimney on deck 9. Kurm believes the lies of Treu, Sillaste and Kadak as they have been repeated so many times.
Lies, Lies, Lies
The complete Final Report is full of lies - or manipulations and disinformation - and chief prosecutor Kurm does not notice it. The above edited testimonies are just a few examples. We know that the official sequence of events 1.9 is 100% false. The above testimonies have just been edited to support the false sequence of events. The four crew members are still alive and can be questioned again. They were evidently threatened after the accident to provide the false information. All will be revealed if a new, correct accident investigation is done. And therefore no new accident investigation will ever be done. The subject is taboo in Swedish media. The Swedish government will never permit a new investigation to be done, because all lies will be revealed. It is the only reason why the Swedish minister Mona Sahlin refuses to appoint a new investigation. Ms Sahlin is not interested in safety at sea. She seems to be more interested in protecting lying young Estonian seamen. And respectable Swedish civil servants Preamble covering up the real events. This is a political, dirty game.
Who ordered the Lies?
More serious. It is clear that three Estonian engine crewmembers lied about the same fantastic story - if you are to believe the Final report. Who asked them to lie? Who made up the false story, which the three crewmembers were asked to repeat over several months? And note - they lied already on the day of the accident! That question is further developed in 4.4.
Ask them again!
It is never to late to ask Mr. Treu, Sillaste and Kadak - and Linde - again how (and when) they escaped and how three of them met on the port side. And at the same time to ask who told them to lie. Because they lie in the Final report and they will live with these lies until they die. And they are still quite young men. The German group of Experts knows of course that the three Estonians were lying - but still the Germans used all the false information in their Final report to blame the accident on bad maintenance of the visor - otherwise the scenario was correct - the visor had fallen off, etc.
Evidently the three Estonia engine crew members did not cause the accident, they were only subordinate crew members, who must have been forced to lie to protect the real culprits. They were fooled by the authorities ... and refuse to admit it. It is quite interesting how first the JAIC twists their stories and then how the Germans make another twist of the story - either story as false as a two dollar bill!
The questions without answers - stability, sinking, escapes, etc. - shall in the future be handled by the Swedish Board of Psychological Defence and the Swedish Ministry of Defence - next chapter. Many persons believe it was the Swedish Board of Psychological Defence that made up the false story in the first place and ordered to fuck the crewmembers. The reason should have been to cover up embarrassing facts about the accident, including frequent transports of ex-USSR military equipment and weapons, and to protect the culprits. It is always good to be protected by a state when you have committed a crime. Unless you know too much ... and are kidnapped and made to disappear.
92 According to an interview 29 September 1994 at Turku hospital (act D24) Treu did not hear any alarms in the ECR. Treu remained in the ECR for some time after Sillaste and Kadak had left and was then in telephone contact with the bridge and Treu told the bridge that he was leaving the ECR. He used the engine crew stairwell. When he left all doors were closed. On the open deck Treu checked the emergency generator and saw various persons opening some life rafts. He did not mention any alarm - siren. Then he was swept into the water. In the water he found a life jacket and put it on. Then he swam to a lifeboat, which was upside down, with four persons on its keel. He got up on the lifeboat. He saw, from 80 meters distance, the ship sinking.
93 According to the first interview 28 September 1994 at Turku hospital (act D23) Sillaste did not mention (a) that the watertight doors were closed and (b) that there was an alarm heard in the ECR and (c) on what deck he came out. When he was outside (on deck 8) he heard the ship's siren, i.e.the boat/general alarm. Time between 'accident' and when he was in the water - 15-20 minutes. According to the second interview 29 September 1994 still at Turku (act D9) Sillaste did not mention (a) that the watertight doors were closed and (b) that there was an alarm heard in the ECR. Sillaste left the ECR and walked through a watertight door to the engine room and via the boiler room (sic) got out on deck 8. No mention of any special emergency exit. Sillaste stated that he saw two officers leave the bridge and that these two persons (sic) joined Sillaste on the open deck/ship's side to open life rafts. These two persons should have left the bridge on deck 9 either through the port side door or window and they might have been walking on the sidewall between decks 8 and 9. However - to reach the ship's port side below deck 7 they then had to climb six meters up to the side wall between decks 7 and 8 and later another four meters straight up to the side below deck 7. In a third interview summary (act D13 or B13) on 4 October 1994 there is no mention that watertight doors were closed or that an alarm was heard in the ECR. The escape route is not mentioned - only that Sillaste left when the listing was 45-50 degrees. Time between 'accident' and sinking 15-20 minutes.