Reports from Deck 4



This deck is located directly above the car deck and approximately the forward two-thirds are arranged for passenger accommodation. In the aft one-third there are conference rooms and the Estonia Club on port side.
The persons having been on this deck - located above the car deck and being on same level with the forecastle deck - have made most important observations as summarized below:

In the forward part there were among others:

port outside:

Anders Ericson
trainee officer
Einar Kukk A.B. sailor Aulis Lee with his wife Aina Lee

port inner side:

Mikael Öun
Stephan Duijndam
Eckard Klug

starboard outside:

Tony Spuhl


Anders Ericson - cabin 4131 - 45 years old - port outside (3rd cabin from forward) statement is attached as Enclosure 20.239:

Einar Kukk - Trainee officer - cabin 4103 - port outside - 2nd last cabin - Statement of 29.09.94 - Enclosure 17.2.217:

Mikael Öun - cabin 4217 - port inside, middle.
Statement of 29.09.94 - Enclosure 17.2.224:


Eckard Klug - cabin 4214 - 54 years old - port inside middle - Enclosure 17.2.221:

Stephan Duijndam - cabin 4221 - port inside middle - Enclosure 17.2.220:


Jaak Mullo - cabin 4214 - port inside, middle (cabin mate of Eckard Klug) - Enclosure 17.2.223:


Jukka Pekka Ihalainen - cabin 4212 - port inside - (cabin mate of truck driver Leo Sillanpää ((( ) - Enclosure


Ainus Toobal - cabin 4224 - starboard inside - Enclosure 17.2.229:


Tony Spuhl - cabin 4313 - 2nd cabin starboard forward outside -- statement taken on 06.10.94 - Enclosure 17.2.228:


Pär Andersson - cabin 4319 - starboard outside - Enclosure

In the aft part of deck 4 behind the reception area several passengers have survived. Some of them made the following observations:

port outside : Morten BojeJensen
port inner side : Anneli Konrad :
Wanda Wachtmeister :
Magnus Lindström
starboard outside : Tom Olav Jonsson
starboard inner side : Raivo Tönisson
aft part : Kerim Nisancioglu :
Yngve Lien :
Kalvet Maiko :
Marek Kaasik
Estonia Club : Janno Aser


Morten Boje Jensen - 28 years old - cabin 4603 - port outside, 2nd cabin behind the Reception - Enclosure
(Danish) Statement taken by the Copenhagen police 06.10.94:


Anneli Konrad - cabin 4620 - dance girl - port inside, 3rd last cabin - Enclosure

Note: Henrik Sillaste was working on the non-functioning vacuum system in the engine room on 0-deck level at that time.


Wanda Wachtmeister - cabin 4618 - 4th deck - next cabin further aft. Statement taken on 29.09.94 - Enclosure 20.247:

Statement taken on 01.10.94 - Enclosure


Tom Olav Jonsson - cabin 4405 - starboard outside, 3rd cabin after the Reception - Enclosure

Note: In upright position the windows on 4th deck are 8.8 m above waterline, at a starboard heel of about 45° the windows were touching the water level which created the impression that waves were smashing against the window.


Marek Kaasik - deck passenger in some room in the aft part of deck 4 - Enclosure


Magnus Lindström - cabin 4429 - starboard outside aft part - Enclosure


Kerim Nisancioglu - in the cinema - aft part of deck 4 - Enclosure


Yngve Lien - deck passenger in cinema in the aft part of deck 4 - Enclosure :


Kalvet Maiko - deck passenger on deck 4 - Enclosure


Raivo Tönisson - cabin 4426 - starboard inside - Enclosure 17.2.230:


Janno Aser - Estonia Club - port aft - Enclosure


Summary of observations made / noises heard / times realised by passengers/ crew members in the area of the 4th deck Before and after the starboard heel:

a.) First noises / extraordinary shaking / vibrating of vessel / crash.

b.) Speed reduced / engines reduced / engines stopped.

c.) Movements on car deck.

d.) Several bangs and starboard heel.

e.) Time of starboard heel.

f.) The righting up after the big heel.


as to a.)
First noises / extraordinary shaking / vibrating of vessel / CRASH.

(1) Ca. 23.45 hours (Swedish time) = 00.45 hours ship's time a dull bang and ca. 1/2 minute later a similar bang were heard, these were really sharp and short sounds which were clearly heard despite the music, the vessel was shaking somewhat, the noises were not created by waves striking against the bow;

(2) after a while there was an enormous crash and the whole vessel was shaking / vibrating;

(3) 23.45/50 hours (Swedish time) 3 metal to metal bangs with 15-20 seconds in-between were heard and the vessel was shaking/vibrating differently than before;

(4) got lost and ended up on the 2nd car deck, where a CRASH was heard (probably the same as under (2);

(5) time before the vessel fell on the side it was felt that the vessel's whole construction was suddenly shaking (probably the same as under (2);

(6) unusual shaking/vibrating of the vessel's hull were felt, these shocks were really shaking the vessel and the truck drivers felt uneasy wondering whether the trucks were really secured.

In summary of the above item a.) it has to be concluded that the survivors from the 4th deck heard and felt at about 00.45 hours a dull bang and 30 seconds later another similar dull bang. These were sharp and short sounds. A moment later there was an enormous crash and the vessel's structure was shaking/ vibrating. Again a little later there were 3 metallic bangs after which the vessel was shaking/vibrating differently than before.


as to b.)
Speed reduced / engines reduced / engines stopped.

(1) It was noted after a while that the engine noises became different and that the vessel's speed might have been reduced;

(2) a little later a deep/slow pitch movement and vibrations in the aftship like from astern-pitch and/or stern turned into the wind were realised - glasses were clinking;

(3) shortly before the list started the vessel began to roll equally in the waves from side to side and it felt as if the vessel did not have the sea from ahead. At that time the engines were not felt;

(4) there was uncertainty whether the vessel was proceeding ahead or was lying still (did not move).

In summary of the above item b.) it has to be concluded that at some short time after the noise scenario summarised under item a.) the engines/pitch were reduced and/or put to 0 and/or to astern. It has further to be concluded that the course was changed to port or to starboard to the effect that wind/waves came either from port or starboard and caused the vessel to roll.


as to c.)
Movements on car deck.

(1) Many bangs were heard, which in such intensity had never been heard before on previous voyages and which were considered to be cars floating on the car deck;

(2) at 01.00 hours strange noises were heard and it was noted that the noises came from the car deck, it appeared as if something was rolling over the car deck.

In summary of the above item c.) it has to be concluded that doubtless there were movements of cars and in all probability also of trucks. The inside of the bow ramp shows damage from inside to outside which could have been caused by a truck. On the other hand what many explained as "movements" on the car deck could also have been the scraping noises deeper below.


as to d.)
Several bangs, etc. and starboard heel.

(1) At ca. 01.00 hours suddenly 2 heavy bangs, one straight after the other, then suddenly a very low noise was heard and the pitch movements stopped, thereafter pitching and rolling and then only rolling - 2 full swings, i.e. less to port/more to starboard; at the 3rd swing the vessel heeled deep to starboard, righted almost and then fell abruptly to ca. 15°, this was just before 01.00 hours;

(2) other survivors identified the bangs to be more like 3 scraping noises which followed one straight after the other with some seconds in between and after these scraping noises the vessel took the severe heel;

(3) the heel caused the alarm clock to fall from the table, the batteries became dislodged and the clock stopped at 00.02 hours Swedish time = 01.02 hours ship's time which has to be considered the exact time of the big heel;

(4) in a starboard forward cabin a rushing noise was heard from below after the bangs but before the big heel;

(5) another survivor reported that 3 "bangs" were heard one after the other; between the first and the second a car alarm sounded below, but not after the third one which came from port side. Shortly afterwards the ferry heeled to starboard side and simultaneously below the noise of a large object moving from port to starboard was heard.

In summary of the above item d.)it has to be concluded that there had been 2-3, probably 3, bangs, crashes, shocks at about 01.00 hours which were followed by the big heel shortly later. The time of the big heel was 01.02 hours when the alarm clock stopped because the batteries had become disengaged.


as to e.)
Time of starboard heeling.

In summary of the above item e.) it has to be concluded that according to the survivors of the 4th deck the time for the big heel was 01.02 hours.


as to f.)
The righting up after the big heel.

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