Baffled Estonia to explore MS Estonia ferry wreck with underwater robot

Baffled Estonia to explore MS Estonia ferry wreck with underwater robot
By bne IntelliNews October 1, 2020

Following the sensational claim that the MS Estonia ferry had sunk due to a collision with a submarine back in 1994, the Estonian government said on October 1 that Estonia possesses the capability to explore the wreck of the ferry with a sonar and an underwater robot, whereas for a diving operation an international tender needs to be held. Interior Minister Mart Helme told reporters that the government has seen the new film about the MS Estonia ferry that has caused a stir.

Estonia’s Margus Kurm, a former state prosecutor and, during 2005-2009, head of the government's investigative committee looking into the sinking of ferry MS Estonia in 1994, said in an interview that new scenes of the shipwreck show the ship most likely sank after a collision with a submarine.

Following the ruckus, Helme said the Estonian government was under very great pressure to do everything right and conduct the investigation proceedings in such a manner that any doubts and speculations would be dispelled.

According to Helme, the government decided that all investigation procedures must be as open as possible. This also means the involvement of the media to the biggest degree.

As, according to Helme, the new investigation means tearing open old wounds, the organisations representing the relatives of the victims and the relatives must be involved.

Third, the technical aspects of the investigation have to be resolved.

At one point, international partners, meaning companies which have significantly greater experience in exploring wrecks than Estonia has, have to be found, Helme said.

The sinking of MS Estonia was the second-deadliest peacetime sinking of a European ship, after the RMS Titanic, and the deadliest peacetime shipwreck to have occurred in European waters. It killed 852 people from 17 countries. The ferry sank on the night of September 28, 1994, sailing from Tallinn to Stockholm.

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