On TVN24 GO you can watch the five-episode documentary series “Estonia – catastrophe at sea”. The production of Discovery + Originals takes viewers from behind the scenes of one of the most tragic maritime disasters in the history of post-war Europe, the cause of which is still shrouded in mystery. Using new technologies, the filmmakers’ team reached the wreckage of the ferry and found a large hole in the hull, which had not yet been described in any of the reports. The premiere of the film in September 2020 was widely publicized and led to the reopening of the investigation into the causes of the crash, in which 852 people died.
The MS Estonia, sailing from Tallinn to Stockholm, sank on September 28, 1994 in international waters off the coast of Finland, becoming the resting place for most of the 852 victims. 137 people were saved. The wreck lies at a depth of about 80 meters in the area of the Finnish island of Uto, between the south-west coast of Finland and the Åland archipelago.
The discovery + Originals production document, which can be viewed on TVN24 GO, shed new light on the issue of researching the causes of the disaster. It revealed the existence of a previously unknown hole in the hull of the ship, which led to the resumption of the work of the international commission.
Although many different investigations have been carried out in the past 27 years, survivors and relatives of the victims say many questions remain unanswered. That is why they founded the Mare Liberum foundation. And they want to privately explore the MS Estonia wreckage. In mid-July this year, experts discovered two previously unknown cracks in the wreckage’s hull, 10-15 meters long. It is not clear yet whether the cracks arose in connection with the crash or after the ship sank.
One of the greatest maritime disasters of the end of the 20th century
In order to be able to dive in “Estonia”, the regulations had to be changed. In 1995, Sweden, Finland and Estonia enacted an international law prohibiting diving near the wreckage to prevent its penetration and violation of the “mass grave”. Currently, he is facing a fine and up to two years in prison. The amendment, which allows experts to act, entered into force on 1 July.
The official final report from 1997, which was prepared by experts from three countries, shows that the cause of the ferry sinking was the detachment of the bow door, as a result of which water got onto the car deck. The official document does not mention a hole in the fuselage
Main photo source: Discovery + library