– A new investigation into the sinking of ferry Estonia that claimed 852 lives in 1994 revealed flaws in its bow visor construction missed during its certification, officials said on Monday.
If necessary examination was carried out, the Estonia-registered ship would not be approved as seaworthy to serve the Tallin-Stockholm route it operated, investigators from Estonia, Finland and Sweden told a news conference in Tallinn.
In 1997, an official investigation into Europe’s worst peacetime maritime disaster since World War Two concluded that the roll-on, roll-off ferry sank on a stormy Baltic Sea after a bow shield failed, damaging a bow ramp and causing the car deck to flood.
However a Discovery Network documentary aired in 2020 showed underwater images of holes in the Estonia’s hull, prompting Sweden, Estonia and Finland to launch a new survey of the wreck lying in shallow Finnish territorial waters.
“If the inspection, following regulations, had been carried out, the flaws of the visor construction could have been discovered and the accident would probably not have occurred”, the presentation of the new probe’s findings said.