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

'We need free information. A nation which is afraid to permit the citizens themselves to judge truths or lies, is a nation that is afraid of its citizens.'

President John F. Kennedy, February 1962  

'It is felt deeply worrying that three amateurs should be able to overthrow the government of an independent state. Behind this (the demand for a new 'Estonia' investigation - the writer's note) is primarily shipbuilding engineer Björkman and ... . They are unbelievably aggressive in their points of view but completely unable to do a proper analysis of cause and event.'

Kari Lehtola, head of the Finnish delegation of the 'Estonia' Commission 1.5, 15 March 2001 (on Swedish Television SVT)



The 'Estonia' accident took place in the Baltic Sea in September 1994. The Final Report of the accident investigation was published in December 1997 suggesting that the faulty visor design/manufacture caused the accident. It is a prime example of so called cognitive dissonance, e.g. that a wife protects the husband that violates their daughter.

Since then several attempts have been made to have the investigation re-opened to review new proven facts never examined by the official investigation, e.g. that the visor did not cause the accident. This book is one such attempt.

It describes in detail the incompetence of the investigators, who did not investigate the vital questions of the accident and just blamed the accident on the visor. On 20 September 1999 and 4 January 2000 the responsible Swedish minister, Ms Mona Sahlin, announced that there were no reasons for a new investigation. Sahlin is a typical wife protecting her husband!

No new (sic) facts of sufficient value (??) had been presented about the 'Estonia' 1994, in spite of the fact that 90% of the information in this book was then known to Ms Sahlin. According to Ms Sahlin this book does not contain any new facts changing the official report.

On 16 March 2001 Ms. Sahlin, after secret consultations with the heads of the political parties in the Swedish parliament, again announced that no new investigation was needed. However:

"Maybe some technicians together with some trustworthy laymen could review the new facts (including the ones in this book?),"

Ms Sahlin thought suddenly there were new facts and the heads of the other political parties at the secret meeting did not disagree. But why the secrecy? Nobody knows what happened at the infamous secret meeting of 16 March 2001 except the party leaders. And they do not talk.

Cause and Event

The head of the Finnish investigators group Mr Kari Lehtola 1.5 added on Swedish television the night before the secret meeting, that the writer - duly named - of this book was an

'amateur - completely unable to do a proper analysis of cause and event'.

and that it was worrying that he

'should be able to overthrow the government of an independent state".

The writer has no intent to overthrow the Finnish government, but it is interesting to note the Lehtola remark about cause end event. Mr Lehtola and his colleagues in the Commission have stated that a lot of different 'events' took place when the 'Estonia' sank, but for most of these alleged 'events' there is no proven or identified cause. They just make up fairy tales.

Ship always floats upside down after capsize. They cannot sink!

If water (2 000 tons) really had entered the superstructure through an opening in the superstructure, the 'Estonia' would simply have capsized and floated upside down. But it never happened. And the Commission never explained why the 'Estonia' sank or how the watertight hull was filled up with water. Eight years after the accident these questions are still without explanation. Why? Because the visor didn't cause the accident. It was removed from the wreck after the accident underwater.

Events and Causes

This book is not about cause and event, but events ... and causes. And corrupt people of all kind.

Ms Sahlin and Mr Lehtola and the heads of the Swedish political parties are unfortunately not properly informed about the laws and codes for international maritime accident investigations, which Sweden, Finland and Estonia have adopted in the United Nations. UN-resolution IMO A.849(20) and its Code for Investigations of Accidents and Incidents at Sea, paragraph 13, are clear.

" when new facts changing previous conclusions are presented they shall be reviewed and investigated ..."

It is as simple as that. The reason is of course that the safety at sea will be improved. The cost is minimal.

If Mr Lehtola, who announced a false wreck position 1.3 and lied about many other matters of the accident - believes that the writer is an amateur - "completely unable to do a proper analysis of cause and event" - he is kindly invited to demonstrate it on this web site.

Ms Sahlin cannot ignore in 2001 that new proven facts have been presented 1997-2001, which require a full new investigation - the events disclosed by the Commission have different causes than concluded by the Commission. In the United Kingdom several marine accident investigations ('Derbyshire', 'Gaul', 'Marchioness') have been formally re-opened (sometimes 10-15 years) later, when new facts have been presented. This has then resulted in real improvements to safety at sea.

Several Errors of Form and Procedure were made during the official 'Estonia' Investigation 1994-1997

Without proper procedure the conclusions cannot be correct or acceptable.

The first error was that all concerned parties did not have access to or insight in the investigation.

United Nation resolution IMO A.849(20) does not permit the secrecy of the 'Estonia' investigation 1994-1998. The secrecy made it possible to hide and manipulate facts, to arrange private meetings between the investigators to negotiate what should be decided and be made public. This situation - the secrecy - is the origin of all conspiracy theories that are around.

The second error of procedure was that the draft of the final report - both the factual and the conclusive parts - was not sent to the concerned and interested parties for comments and review before the Final Report was issued.

It was a logical consequence of the first error - the secret investigation itself to prevent an open discussion. With normal procedure plenty of factual errors in the Final Report would have been easily spotted before publication.

The third error is that the investigation is not re-opened, when new proven facts are presented contradicting the official ones and modifying the analysis and the conclusions.

Trade unions, survivors, relatives, the shipyard and private persons have during 1994-2001 pointed out several faults that must be reviewed - to clarify the accident and to improve safety at sea.

A fourth error was that several investigators were partial.

The shipping company itself was part of the Commission and investigated itself 1.7. Errors of procedure are serious. Several investigators 1.5 were members of the MAIIF1 - the Marine Accident Investigators International Forum - the rules of which state that the members shall follow the UN-resolutions, codes and laws. During the 'Estonia' investigation these investigators did not follow the ethical rules of the MAIIF and the UN resolutions. A basic requirement for an accident investigation is that all facts in the Final Report are proven and clearly described.

Factual Faults of Events

This book is a description of a surprisingly large number of factual faults - falsifications, lies, disinformation, cover-ups, etc. of events and conditions in the Final Report (5),2 which the writer has found.

1. Salvage of the victims - all dead bodies could have been recovered during the first week.

2. Seaworthiness - the ship was not seaworthy.

3. Watertight subdivision - was not as per the SOLAS (Convention for Safety Of Life At Sea) - the ship was not seaworthy.

4. Life saving equipment - was not as per the SOLAS - the ship was not seaworthy.

5. Port State Control by Sweden - manipulated several times 1993-1994 to hide unseaworthiness.

6. Visor - it was probably attached to the ship, when it sank (the Atlantic lock was probably damaged earlier and not in use).

7. Ramp - the bow ramp was never open during the accident.

8. Water inflow through an open ramp - the published figures are false. Little water entered vua the ramp.

9. Speed and course - the published figures are false.

10. Stability - the ship should have capsized immediately with 2 000 tons of water in the superstructure and floated upside down.

11. Sinking - the ship could not sink due to water in the superstructure and floating upside down.

12. Plot of accident - the plot is a falsification (shows an undamaged ship turning and drifting)

13. Testimonies - survivors' testimonies have been changed to suit false events.

14. Dive investigation December 1994 - the results are manipulated.

15. Damage to/hole in starboard front/collision bulkhead - not reported by the Commission.

Result of capsize

16. Destroyed evidence - several objects salvaged December 1994 were thrown into the sea.

17. The visor was damaged before the accident - and used as cause of accident to hide the truth.

18. Major hull modification work was done 8 months before the accident - stabilizers were fitted.

19. The swimming pool - was built into the double bottom.

The list can be made longer but the writer is naive enough to think that above should be enough to call for a new investigation. However, the writer is also a realist - evidently no new investigation will be made for obvious reasons.

An accident is often an unfortunate combination of events and existing conditions. The 'Estonia' accident is a prime example. There were many deficiencies prior to accident and, when the ship then sprang a leak, they all contributed to (caused) the disaster. And it is obvious that the investigators 1.5 connived to hide the real facts to protect some vital interests. The investigators were not interested at all of a serious investigation.


Several important institutions, the seafarers union ITF, the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, London, the Swedish Ship Masters Association, the Independent Fact Group, the shipyard, and private individuals have reported a big number of facts to the effect that the 'Estonia' was not seaworthy on the 27 September 1994. The Independent Fact Group has produced proof (31) that the protocol of the last Port State Control 940927 at Tallinn is falsified in the Final Report and that deficiencies, which should have been repaired or rectified before departure and/or stopped the vessel, have been ignored by the investigators 1.23 and 1.33. There are many observations that the condition and fitness of the 'Estonia' and crew training were very bad. The Commission only refers to anonymous person stating that the 'Estonia' was in perfect shape to show the contrary.

Naturally the 'Estonia' was not seaworthy in spite of the statements of the Commission to the contrary.

It would have been very easy for a Swedish government ship inspector to stop the 'Estonia' at Tallinn on 27 September 1994 by just declaring that the ship could not enter a Swedish port in its present condition. Swedish government inspectors were onboard, observed many defects and did nothing

Watertight Subdivision

Evidence has been presented that the watertight doors in the watertight bulkheads were always open at sea and that the doors could not be closed locally, i.e. the watertight integrity of the ship was lacking 1.23 and that the ship was not seaworthy. It results in listing and sinking, if the ship is leaking. If the ship was leaking before the accident has not been investigated.

The Commission never investigated the watertight subdivision of the 'Estonia'.

Life Saving Equipment

The 'Estonia' did not have lifeboats and life rafts under davits for all persons aboard 1.33, i.e. she was not seaworthy. The equipment consisted to 55% of throw-overboard-rafts (Solas60 type), which were illegal for trade on the open seas - they remained since the ship was classed for coastal trading only 1980-1993. The Final Report comments this fact that the ship was according to the rules - what rules? SOLAS? Not possible! Furthermore the Commission states that the life jackets were of an approved type - no manufacturer or description is given - in spite of the fact that all survivors reported big difficulties - the life jackets were ripped off, when the passengers jumped into the water.

The Commission's opinion of the life saving equipment is wrong.

The Swedish National Maritime Administration - Sjöfartsverket

It inspected the 'Estonia' at the port of Tallinn (sic) already in January 1993 - before the first voyage to see if particular Swedish requirements were fulfilled Appendix 7.

The evacuation test at Tallinn seems manipulated- it was of course impossible to evacuate 2 000 passengers aboard with life saving equipment for only 996 persons, but a test of 15 minutes (sic) 1993 - in port - proved the contrary.

Hence the ship was inspected four or five times at Stockholm according the PSC protocol (the Paris-agreement) 1993/4 without any defects noted. Finally Swedish NMA surveyors at Tallinn inspected the 'Estonia' again on the day before the accident (see above), when apparently a large number of defects were suddenly noted. The Final Report does not mention any of these controls and inspections in detail.

The writer thinks it is impossible that the Swedish NMA1993/4 can have avoided to detecting the deficiencies of the 'Estonia' described in this book. You must be a quite incompetent ship inspector to have missed all the defects on the 'Estonia' making her 100% unseaworthy!

It means that there was a serious conflict of interest for the Swedish NMA. In spite of this the Swedish government asked the NMA to investigate many questions 1994-2000 about the 'Estonia' - the legal position, an analysis of consequences, salvage of the wreck, if the information in this book required serious study (in Swedish), etc., and to carry out several projects - a dive inspection, a report to an Ethical Advisory Board, etc. In all cases the NMA gave misleading information to the government and it was always the same person that did the work - Johan Franson 1.16. The reason was apparently to protect the NMA.

The Commission falsified the Final Report to protect the Swedish NMA.

The Visor and the Wave Loads

The Commission stated in October 1994 that the wave loads had ripped off the visor, when the 'Estonia' was upright. The visor was kept in place by, i.a. two hinges on the deck with a break strength >350 tons each. The Commission suggested that the hinges were torn apart by a sudden overload in the forward direction after the visor locks had been ripped open. How this overload developed is not clear. Wave loads directed upwards and aft cannot pull apart a hinge in the forward direction. Testimonies to the effect that the visor was attached to the ship, when it sank, have been censored. It is also certain that calculations about the wave loads on the visor have been manipulated to increase the loads 3.2 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9 and Appendix 2. The normal wave loads on the visor in severe weather are in fact fairly small and cannot damage anything as proven by 100's of visors with total 1 000's of service years without incidents. The Commission cleverly suggested that several wave impact loads damaged the visor, but it is another lie, as impact loads on the visor is just local, short-lived overpressure between visor and wave, when other wave loads are zero. Such impacts can only cause local plastic deformation of plate panels but can never damage locks and attachments. The only wave that could have damaged the vessel would have been a freak wave of unusual size, but such a wave has nevere occurred in the Baltic and it would have been noticed at once. So all suggestions that several wave loads/impacts damaged the wrongly designed and manufactured visor locks and hinges during several minutes without being noticed by the crew were just inventions to suit a false cause of accident. But the public believed the lies. Big waves - yes, they are dangerous and naval architects and ship builders worldwide do not understand that, the public was repeatedly told by media. Real experts telling the real facts were censored.

The most probable theory is therefore that the visor was attached to the ship after it had sunk and that it later was removed under water by help of explosives 3.10 and 4.1, which is based on information given to the writer not until February 2001. The assumed removal of the visor under water 3 to 6 October 1994 actually explains many strange happenings of the early part of the investigation 28 September to 15 December 1994.

The statement of the Commission that the visor should have fallen off before the listing and should have caused the accident is false.

The Bow Ramp

Evidence has been presented that the ramp was never open. The Commission stated in October and December 1994 that the ramp had been forced or ripped open and permitted water to enter on the car deck in the superstructure >2 meters above the waterline. The ramp locks were ripped apart. However, pictures taken of the locks 1994 made public 1998 show that the locks are not even damaged 3.10.

The statement of the Commission that the ramp was ripped open 1994 and caused water inflow inte the superstructure is false.

Analysis 2000 by the Independent Fact Group of pictures taken by divers of Mr Gregg Bemis 2000 of new damages to the ramp indicates that the ramp must have been opened and later closed between 1996-2000 (to remove cargo?)!

Speed and Course

The Commission has confirmed that the speed and course were unchanged until after the listing occurred. However there are no evidences 1.26, 1.47 and Appendix 2.

The statement that the speed was unchanged until after the accident/listing occurred is false.

Water Inflow

The Commission has informed various amounts of water inflow into the superstructure through the open bow ramp at different times, which do not add up according to the laws of physics. 1 800-3 600 tons should have flowed into the superstructure and on the car deck in one minute 1.9 and Appendix 4 and the ship should have stopped and capsized immediately and floated upside down on its watertight hull accordning to this writer, while the Commission reduces the inflow considerably. In two different places of the Final Report the Commission states that at the same time on the one hand only 55 tons/minute flowed into the superstructure (according to Dr. Huss) or, on the second hand, it was >666 ton/minute (according to the Commission).

With 2 000 tons of water on the car deck in the superstructure ...

During two minutes around 01.29 hrs the deck house >10 meters above the waterline suddenly filled up with 14 000 ton according to the Commission, but the ship did not capsize nor stop - it floated on the deck house and drifted >1 000 metres Eastward to sink at about 01.53 hrs.

All statements by the Commission about water inflow through an open ramp are false.


International expertise has since the accident 1994 questioned the official calculations, why the 'Estonia' did not capsize immediately due to water in the superstructure.

... the 'Estonia' would have listed 40 degrees and ...

The investigators always stated that the Final Report (5) should give the answer. This is not the case. The Commission instead falsified all stability calculations - assuming that parts of the deckhouse (decks 4-8) 10-20 meters above the waterline was 100% watertight.

The stability calculations of the Commission are wrong (intentionally falsified).


As the Commission falsified the stability calculations, it could never explain the sinking of the ferry. The ferry was evidently initially floating on its watertight hull, which was properly subdivided into 14 compartments.

... immediately tipped on the side ...

The hull - 18 000 m3 - had large reserve - 6 000 m3 of buoyancy- when floating normally on 12 000 m3 displacement, and should have survivied with two compartments flooded. With 1 500-2 000 tons in the superstructure above the hull on the watertight car deck the 'Estonia' should immediately have capsized and floated upside down on the undamaged hull.

The Commission instead stated that the hull was flooded from above starting 15 minutes after the accident. The flooding of the hull then lasted for 20 minutes, so that the ship sank. No further details were given.

The sinking as described by the Commission is physically impossible.

... to float upside down on the undamaged hull.

The Plot of the Accident - A Falsification

The plot of the accident - figure 13.2 in the Final report - is a pure falsification. It shows the turning and drifting of an undamaged ship that never sinks. The falsification is very easy to spot - an independent expert cannot re-make the plot. The plot is then edited with false information 1.9.

The official plot of the accident is an intentional falsification.


The Swedish 'Estonia' survivors association 'Neptun' and the new 'Arbetsgruppen för utredning av 'Estonia's förlisning' (The work group to investigate the sinking of the 'Estonia), Agnef, have informed that survivors have not been questioned properly and that information given to the police has been edited by the Commission until it is not recognizable. The sequence of events in the Final Report does not agree with most survivors' testimonies 2.1 and 2.12. Instead the Commission believes and uses only the testimonies of four key crewmembers, which have been changed several times. At least three of them lied about what happened - it is easy to show 1.48.

The Commission falsified all testimonies to 'suit'.

Unreported Damages

At a private diving expedition in August 2000 big hull damages were filmed, which had not been reported by the Commission in 1994 1.16 and 3.10. One damage - the one in the middle of the starboard collision bulkhead at the side of the ramp, probably caused by explosives after (!) the accident - shows clearly that the sequence of events of the Commission cannot be correct.

The Commission in its Final Report did not report all damages.

Destruction of Evidence

In the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter 010311 was reported, and confirmed by the Finnish members of the Commission, that a great number objects were salvaged by divers in December 1994 and later thrown back into the sea - classified as unimportant scrap.

The most important object/scrap - the locking bolt of the visor bottom (Atlantic) lock was thrown back without being photographed, measured, etc. It supports the writer's theory that the Atlantic lock was damaged before the accident and that, e.g. the bolt had not been used for a long time. It was thus rusty and dirty.

But there is other evidence that the visor was damaged before the accident 3.7.

The Commission destroyed evidence that contradicted its false cause of accident.

Major Hull Modification Work was done 8 Months before the Accident

Fin stabilizers were fitted in January 1994, i.e. openings were cut in the most highly stressed parts of the underwater hull. The matter was not investigated, if, e.g. the work was correctly done. An incorrect installation could have caused the leakage that apparently sank the 'Estonia after causing the loss of stability and the sudden listing. The 'Erika' tanker accident in 1999 was later blamed on faulty steel hull repairs a year before the fatal accident.

The Commission did not investigate recent hull modifications and repair works done.

The Swimming Pool

The 'Estonia' was fitted with a strange swimming pool arrangement on deck 0; the pool was probably recessed into the double bottom - see the arrangement below. The swimming pool - on port side - was located between the conference rooms aft and the saunas forward - and you reached via a spiral stairs from deck 1 Plan of decks 0 and 1.

It meant that the regular height of the double bottom was reduced and that the inherent protection against grounding was reduced. Survivors on deck 1 noted that water flowed up from the swimming pool compartment indicating that the ship was leaking. The water may have also come from the stabilizer compartment or the sewage treatment room aft of the swimming pool. The leakage may also have started below the swimming pool.

The Commission destroyed evidence that survivors noted water inflow on deck 0.

The analysis of the Commission does not fulfil reasonable requirements.

The Sequence of Events

The Commission established already on 4 October 1994 the sequence of alleged events five days earlier: first loss of the visor, then a partly open ramp and water on the car deck in the superstructure, later increasing list from 01.16 hrs and finally slow sinking until 01.48 hrs. On 15 December 1994 the Commission changed the sequence of events - the ramp had then been completely pulled open at 01.14-01.15 hrs, followed by a sudden water inflow and listing, later by a closed (!?) ramp, so that the water inflow was reduced, and the ship sank later at 01.55 hrs. No proven facts supported the suggestions then, 1994, or today, 2001. Based on the evidence in this book none of the official sequences of events is possible 1.9. The plot is a falsification. That the Commission could not have analysed all facts and causes already the 4 October 1994 is self-evident. Probably the 'Estonia' sank already at 01.32-01.36 hrs after leakage of the hull started at 00.30-00.40 hrs, which caused the sudden listing already at 01.02 hrs as noted by a majority of survivors.

The question remains why a complete analysis was not done later? The answer is that the investigators did not want to admit that the alleged sequence of events from the 4 October 1994, based on four crew members untrue testimonies - particularly the time of the listing at 01.15 hrs - was rubbish, i.e. no analysis was made 1994-1997: the Commission only wrote a report, which tried to prove the first suggested, false sequence of events with fabricated causes. The Commission does not show in the Final Report (5) how it wrote off other possible causes of accident, e.g. leakage, which is a basic requirement in a complete analysis.

The official sequence of events is totally untrue.


Leakage of the hull below the waterline as cause of accident has never been investigated, e.g. due to a faulty stabilizer installation, rust below the swimming pool incorrectly fitted as part of the double bottom or repair works carried out onboard. The Final Report does not even mention the possibility. If you study all the protocols of the Commission meetings, you find that other causes of accident are only treated once the 27-28 February 1996 (act A168*), when the Commission decided that

"Chapter 8 shall be enlarged to state that other causes of accident like explosions and collisions have been studied but found improbable".

That decision is not found in the Final report, nor why an explosion or collision was improbable and how this investigation was done. A possibility of leakage is e.g. badly supervised welding repair work in dry-dock or aboard at sea. A fact which is not reported in the Final Report, and which has never been noted in the media, is that almost the whole engine crew survived - 13 men except three officers 1.42. The ten survivors were two officers incl. the watch keeper 3/E Treu, one systems engineer (plumbing and pumps) - Sillaste, the A/C engineer and his assistant, two welders and three oilers, incl. the watch keeper, Kadak. The systems engineer - Sillaste - stated several times that the 'Estonia' was leaking 1.3 and that the bilge pumps were running. According to a report by the CNN also quoted by the Swedish news agency TT soon after the accident a crewmember stood in water to his knees in a compartment before the listing occurred.

The Final Report does not say if "hot work" was carried out during the last trip. A common cause of accident is then fire or explosion, if you do not check if the surrounding is gas free. It is very strange that the Commission 1994 never interviewed particularly the welders, the repairmen and the oilers about what had been done earlier aboard during two weeks - if major works were done. 14 months after the accident the two welders and one oiler were in fact interviewed by the Estonian administration together with 23 other surviving Estonians. The 28 February 1996 the Commission wrote in its protocol (act A168*) that

"An agreed document about testimonies had now been created".

The wording is revealing. Compare 2.1 where the summary of testimonies of the Commission four, five months after the accident is shown and which was hence modified (created?) in the Final Report (5).

The Commission limited its investigation only to confirm its own, untrue cause of accident.

The German Investigation

After the Commission had 'created' or produced an 'agreed' document about testimonies, the German group of experts 3.13 sent a report 22 July 1996, (act B155** - secret according to the Swedish secrecy law §8.6 until 9 March 1998), of 87 pages exclusive of three appendices, which completely contradicted the analysis and all public statements of the Commission at that time. The Germans showed, i.a. that the visor was badly maintained, that the visor was lost after a sudden listing occurred at 01.02 hrs and that the ship floated in a stable condition with 40-50 degrees with the funnel against the wind, etc. The Germans demanded that another ten objects from the wreck should be salvaged for complete analysis and that a further eight areas should be filmed and that the watertight doors should be studied. The German evidences were not analysed by the Commission and the demands were refused against the rules of UN-resolution A.849(20), in spite of the fact that orally the Commission had told the Germans the opposite. By using the Swedish secrecy law SL 8.6 the Commission succeeded to silence the Germans.

The Commission censored all German evidences about bad maintenance, the actual design, etc., and the German group of experts did not protest.

Stability after the Accident

Neither the Germans nor the Commission has analysed how a stable condition developed after the sudden listing - see part 3. The 'Estonia' was probably leaking below the waterline before the listing developed, e.g. the hull was damaged in way of the sauna/pool compartment or the starboard stabilizer on deck 0 or in some other location, e.g. the welders were working on a tank, which was not gas free and that there was an explosion causing a leak. Perhaps the work supervisor - an officer - died. The whole ferry was shaken - it was observed by many survivors before 01.00 hrs. Then they tried to do something and there was a second impact - water spread into several compartments, which resulted in the sudden listing - duly noted by all survivors at about 01.02 hrs 2.1. Then water spread everywhere through open watertight doors below the car deck. The ship sank slowly but in a stable condition and the visor was lost, when the list was very great. In this analysis all observations fit with what was observed aboard. Leakage of the hull below the waterline followed by loss of initial stability thus cannot be excluded as a contributing cause of accident. What actually caused the leakage should be investigated.

The Commission and the German experts never made correct stability calculations, which would have demonstrated already 1994 that all suggestions about water in the superstructure were false.

Insurance Fraud

Neither the leading hull underwriter nor the P&I club Skuld has ever taken an active interest into the real cause of the accident 3.20. They paid all claims long before the investigation was terminated when no evidence was available to prove the alleged cause of accident. That the manipulated, official investigation is part of a clever insurance fraud is today a valid consideration.*

The silence of the insurance underwriters during the investigation supports the suggestion that the investigation was manipulated as part of an insurance fraud.

A great number of new, proven but not reported facts are presented in this book. The investigations and analysis of the Final Report (5) are incomplete. Sweden (or Finland or Estonia) is then forced according to the UN resolution to re-open the investigation, exactly as the United Kingdom has re-opened the 'Derbyshire'- and the 'Gaul'-investigations (and others) under the impartial eyes of e.g. lord Donaldson, which has contributed to real improvements of safety at sea 1997-1999.

This book is a contribution to factual debate about the 'Estonia' investigation and a simple explanation of many questions surrounding the 'Estonia' to eliminate all lies produced by the Commission. The choice of the word lie is intentional - lie is lie and does not become truth, if it is repeated. The president, Mr Lennart Meri, of Estonia, the Estonian government and the young prime minister Mart Laar (born 1962) and the former transport minister Andi Meister 1.5 and 1.20 do not seem to understand the causes how and why the 'Estonia' sank in September 1994. You still ask in 2001, why it was so difficult to investigate a simple accident at sea and why the public had no access to the investigation.

President Lennart Meri is primarily responsible that the accident has not been investigated properly and that all new facts have been ignored.

He seems to have been a good person but the 'Estonia' made him totally corrupt 4.5.

The Swedish governments under prime ministers Carl Bildt, Ingvar Carlsson and Göran Persson, ministers such as Margaretha af Ugglas, Mats Odell, Ines Uusmann and Mona Sahlin, advisors as Jan-Olov Selén, Jonas Hafström and Birgitta Wallström, and all so called 'experts' of the National Maritime Administration (Sjöfartsverket) as directors of safety at sea Bengt-Erik Stenmark, Johan Franson and Per Nordström (deputy), director Sten Anderson and certain surveyors, and all 'experts' of the Swedish Board of Accident Investigation (Statens Haverikommission (SHK)) as the directors general Olof Forssberg and Ann-Louise Eksborg, and master mariners Olle Noord and Hans Rosengren and dr. Michael Huss and psychologist Bengt Schager 1.5 seem to systematically during the past years to have given away false and misleading information about the condition of the 'Estonia' at departure from Tallinn the 27 September 1994, about why and how she sank in about 30 minutes, six hours later in the middle of the Baltic, about the condition of the wreck and why you could not salvage the dead. The Swedish NMA directors general Anders Lindström (1995-2000) and Jan-Olof Selén (2000- ) have not made things better by refusing to investigate the false information.

What 'actually' happened to the 'Estonia' will probably never be answered

Deputy NMA director of safety at sea Per Nordström wrote to the author 981223, ref. 0701-9836282, which he copied to directors Johan Franson and Sten Anderson 1.5 and 1.16. Nordström considers that

"the Estonia report and its recommendations are of little interest, as the work at the IMO after the loss of the 'Estonia' quickly surpassed the work of the Commission and new rules were developed, which were more comprehensive than those of the Commission".

Nordström says further that

"the question what 'actually' happened to the 'Estonia' will probably never be answered".

This is a surprisingly uninterested and lazy position of the Swedish NMA, which according to its own ideas, wants to become the best NMA in the world with the highest safety at sea. Nordström says that the 'Estonia' report is of 'little' interest and does not clarify what happened. Nordström is deputy director of safety at sea!

Then Nordström says that the Swedish NMA

"has accepted the explanations of the Commission as being trustworthy".

You should wonder on what basis such acceptance is built? Nordström evidently refuses to clarify anything. Doesn't the Swedish NMA know that a ferry floats on its hull and that the hull needs to be water filled so that the ship sinks? Hasn't the NMA noted that the Commission never explained how the ferry was alleged to have sunk? Hasn't the NMA noted all contradictions in the official Final report (5)?

You should further note that the Commission never developed any new 'rules' in the Final Report.3 The Swedish NMA is responsible for safety at sea - to accept the suggestion that more than 850 persons including more than 500 Swedes died at sea 1994 due to badly designed and manufactured visor locks 1979 is to make things too easy. It is also intellectually dishonest.

It is to say that wool socks grow on trees!

The ferry owner's responsibility is to carry passengers and cargo timely and safely from load to discharge ports with no harm to people or the environment. The Owners of the 'Estonia' never accepted that responsibility.

It is up to the Flag States, Classification Societies and port state control to stop those owners that do not comply with rules and regulations and who thus run a substandard operation. The Owners of the 'Estonia' was the Flag State that manipulated its own port state control and hired a Classification Society to issue incorrect certificates. Of course such Flag State has no interest to find the Truth of the 'Estonia' accident.

Tourist Attraction

One reason to salvage the 'Estonia' is naturally that the peace of the 'Estonia' will never be guaranteed. The 'Estonia' will within 10-20-30 years become a tourist attraction to be studied with a mini submarine, etc. The 'Estonia' will never rust away but will lie at 50-70 meters depth for hundreds of years, as a monument over Swedish (Finnish and Estonia) incompetence to maintain and to improve safety at sea. To prevent this, the 'Estonia' should be raised. When the 'Estonia' is raised it is easy to establish the cause of the accident - a leakage below the waterline. The visor was probably removed under water by explosive devices to support the false theory that it had been lost before the accident. The writer has no other explanation why the visor was allegedly found detached from the hull after the accident.

Proven Facts

Most of the proven facts in this book have been advised to the Swedish, Finnish and Estonian governments, the Swedish NMA and the Commission during 1995-1999. They have also visited this web site several times. All facts have been ignored. The Swedish government ignored the first request for a new investigation 1999. In proposal no 1:1999/2000 to the Swedish Parliament Ms Mona Sahlin stated that a new investigation should not be done. She added:

'There were some evident deficiencies in the investigation or persons that put up questions about it, but my judgement (sic) is that they are not serious enough to demand a new investigation', (TT 990927).

In spite of 'some evident deficiencies' nothing is done.

The contributions of Ms Sahlin support the various conspiracy theories and increase the secondary trauma of relatives and survivors, which the Analysis Group is worried about 1.36. When the Germans handed in its report to a Stockholm court of law 991230, Ms Sahlin only repeated 000104 the same statement after having the read the thousand pages German report, that:

'no new facts have been reported which require a new investigation'.

Ms Sahlin and Mr Lehtola have no respect for the truth and they are afraid of the citizens. Nevertheless - the writer hopes that students of risk analysis and safety management will use this book in order to develop better safety at sea.

The Re-opening 1998 of the 'Derbyshire' Accident 1980

It is quite easy to re-open an accident investigation. A British example:


Whereas on or about the 9th day of September 1980 the ore/bulk/oil motor vessel DERBYSHIRE, registered at Liverpool Official Number 364425, sank in the Pacific Ocean off Okinawa with the loss of 44 lives and whereas a shipping casualty has occurred;

And whereas a Formal Investigation was held into the said casualty, pursuant to an order of the Secretary of State made on 11th June 1987;

And whereas the Wreck Commissioner made a report to the Secretary of State, by Report of Court No. 8075; And whereas the Secretary of State is satisfied that new and important evidence which could not be produced at the investigation has been discovered;

Now the Secretary of the State for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in pursuance of the powers conferred by section 269 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 hereby orders that the whole of the case shall be reheard by Her Majesty's High Court of Justice.

17th December 1998


John Prescott

Secretary of State for

The Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions

To help Her Majesty's High Court of Justice some questions were suggested, which the High Court should clarify:


1. What were the most probable cause(s) of the loss of the "DERBYSHIRE"?

2. What possible causes (previously considered by the Formal Investigation or Lord Donaldson's Assessment) can be eliminated in the light of the new evidence of the wreckage of the "DERBYSHIRE"?

3. What other possible causes of the loss of the "DERBYSHIRE" remain open?

Fore-end flooding

4. In so far as material to the loss of the "DERBYSHIRE", was the design of the "DERBYSHIRE" in way of her fore-end (from frame 339 forward - including her hull, bow height, deck , deck openings and fittings) in accordance with the standards applicable at the time she was built?

5. Is the design satisfactory in the light of what is now known?

6. In so far as material to the loss of the "DERBYSHIRE" in way of her fore-end? If so,

(a) what repairs were carried out?

(b) was her condition satisfactory after such repair

Hatch Covers

7. In so far as material to the loss of the "DERBYSHIRE", was the design of the hatch covers of the "DERBYSHIRE" in accordance with the standards applicable at the time she was built?

8. Is that design satisfactory in the light of what is now known?


9. At the time when the vessel was:

(a) designed; and

(b) built;

were the regulations and classification society rules for:

(i) assignment of freeboard;

(ii) design of her fore-end (from frame 339 forward - including her hull, bow height, deck, deck openings, and fittings); and

(iii) design of her hatch covers

inadequate in any respect material to the loss in the light of the then current state of knowledge and what ought reasonably then to have been known or anticipated?


10. When the "DERBYSHIRE" sailed on her last voyage from Sept-Isles was she in all respects seaworthy for her contemplated voyage to Japan in so far as material to her loss?

11. Did she cease to be seaworthy in any respect material to her loss at any time prior to her loss, and if so in what respects where and when?

Frame 65

12. (a) Is there any evidence of defective design, construction or repair of the structure in way of frame 65 in the wreckage of the "DERBYSHIRE" which would materially impair the safety of the vessel or those on board her?

(b) Are the present-day classification society rules and instructions to surveyors adequate as regards the quality of design, construction and repairs of the structure in way of frame 65?


13. (a) Was the information and advice provided to the "DERBYSHIRE" by Oceanroutes Inc. adequate and appropriate in the circumstances?

(b) If not, then did the inadequacy or inappropriateness of such advice and information cause or contribute to the "DERBYSHIRE's" close encounter with typhoon "Orchid"?

(c) Did the master navigate appropriately in the light of the weather information available to him?


14. (a) What steps should be taken to avoid a similar loss in the future?

(b) Should the current regulations or current classification society rules or instructions to surveyors be amended to avoid a similar loss in the future?

During 60 days spring/summer 1999 the above questions were answered in London in a fairly civilized manner.

It is very easy for a responsible Swedish minister to re-open a Swedish technical inquiry 2001 or anytime following Swedish law why >500 Swedes died on the 'Estonia' on 28 September 1994. Follow the British example. Order a Swedish court to clarify the 19 technical questions given in the beginning of this Foreword.


Anders Björkman
naval architect, M.Sc
Beausoleil, France - Freiberg, Saxony, Germany - Heliopolis, Egypt
1999-2001, 2004


1 Marine Accident Investigators International Forum http://www.maiif.net for its rules and members. The MAIIF is generally not interested in the 'Estonia' accident and its investigation in spite of the fact the MAIIF members participated in the investigation and signed the Final report..

2 References with a number are shown in part 5. A reference with a letter followed by a number is an act in the archive of the Swedish Board of Accident Investigation, SHK, Stockholm, Sweden.

3 The opinion of the writer is simple - if the explanations of the Commission are trustworthy, the Commission and the NMA have nothing to hide and should explain the outstanding questions. By refusing to do so neither the Commission nor the Final Report can be considered trustworthy.

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