Decision to salvage ferry Estonia's bow ramp made jointly by Estonia, Sweden, Finland

  • 2023-04-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian, Swedish and Finnish safety investigation authorities have agreed on salvaging the bow ramp of the ferry Estonia and film the ferry's car deck in order to thoroughly examine the wreck.

The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority (SHK) has organized public procurement for finding a suitable company for salvaging the bow ramp.

Head of the Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau Mart Ots said that the safety investigation authorities of the three countries continue to jointly plan and make preparations for the works.

"Estonia is the leading country in the studies, as was agreed in 2020, when we started with the initial assessments," Ots said.

Jonas Backstrand from the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority said that a decision has been made to pull the bow ramp of the ferry from the sea and to film the ferry's car deck

"It appeared in the course of the studies carried out in 2021 that the bow ramp is no longer attached to the hull. We have decided to raise the ramp to examine it in more depth," Backstrand said.

Sweden has set aside 25 million Swedish kronor, or around 2.2 million euros, for the ramp lifting effort.

"We've decided to sign an agreement with the Norwegian company Reach Subsea AS. The surveys will be conducted with the vessel Viking Reach," Backstrand said. The exact time of the conduct of the studies has yet to be announced.

Representatives of the three states have agreed that the ramp is to be brought to Estonia where it will be studied in depth.

As to ongoing works, the vessel colliding with the seabed is continuously being modeled by the Tallinn University of Technology and the model should be completed by the end of August. Interviews with survivals of the ferry disaster likewise continue. Procurement is being prepared for modeling the bow of the ferry, and the works will be funded by Estonia.