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.
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
In the forward
part there were among others:
A.B. sailor Aulis Lee with his wife Aina Lee
port inner side:
- cabin 4131 - 45 years old - port outside (3rd cabin from forward) statement
is attached as Enclosure
- Trainee officer - cabin 4103 - port outside - 2nd last cabin - Statement
of 29.09.94 - Enclosure
- at about 00.30
hours Silver Linde returned from his safety round to the bridge and said everything
- 5-10 minutes later
he left the bridge and went to his cabin, cleared up some matters and went
to the Pub (where also Karaoke was performed).
Admiral is located on the 5th deck starboard side, aft.
- There he saw Silver
Linde in the door at about 00.40 hours. Kukk left after some minutes and went
to his cabin, where he arrived at 00.50 hours, went to bed, but could
- After 5-10 minutes
he heard a strange noise which was very unusual (and alarming) to him;
got up and dressed; whilst he was putting on his shoes the vessel heeled
to starboard, he cannot say how much,
- he rushed up to
the 7th deck,
- when he was between
6th/7th deck he noted a shock/vibration inside the vessel.
It has to be assumed that Einar Kukk went first to the bridge and subsequently
to deck 7.
- cabin 4217 - port inside, middle.
29.09.94 - Enclosure
- was in bed but
could not sleep;
- close to 01.00
hours he noted that the vessel's movements changed, i.e. whilst the vessel
had so far been pitching, she now started to roll 3°-5°;
- after a heavy wave
impact he heard 2-3 severe scraping noises from forward - this was
at 01.01 hours - followed by a slight listing to starboard and some
things fell down;
- directly thereafter
followed a very severe heeling and now everything loose was sliding to starboard.
Statement of 04.10.94 - Enclosure
- was in bed and
continuously heard banging noises which he believed to be caused by the waves
hitting against the bow;
- he slept a bit
and woke up again and finally was fully awake when he heard a particularly
loud bang and because the vessel started to behave differently in the
- he noticed that
the vessel started to roll from side to side instead of pitching against
- he also heard
3 heavy scraping noises which followed straight one after the other with some
seconds in between and after these scraping noises the vessel heeled severely
- at first there
was heavy movement of the vessel and a slight list remained and the vessel
remained with that list for a while;
- a little later
the heel suddenly increased severely and everything loose moved toward the
cabin door whereafter the vessel righted again;
- he got out of his
bed, put on some clothes and removed the loose objects from the door in order
to open it, thereby he put his camera and the alarm clock in his pocket;
- after his survival
he realised that the alarm clock had stopped at 00.02 hours (Swedish time)
because the moment it fell from the table, due to the sudden heeling,
the batteries had become disengaged and the clock stopped.
the time of the 1st heavy heeling to starboard was 00.02 hours Swedish time
= 01.02 hours ship's time.
- cabin 4214 - 54 years old - port inside middle - Enclosure
- was in bed, heard
many bangs which he had never heard on his many previous voyages, in his opinion
these were cars floating on the car deck;
- in his opinion
the unsecured cars and trucks had moved forward against the bow ramp due to
the hard setting in of vessel's bow and forced the bow ramp open and this
is the cause of the casualty;
- Klug heard in
addition to the above explained bangs a bang which was heavy as if
breaking of a thick plate;
- they got up and
by the time he had reached the cabin door the starboard heel started;
- when he reached
the boat-deck the list was about 30°.
being questioned in October 1999 Eckard Klug stated to have information
that the bow ramp had not been secured at all.
- cabin 4221 - port inside middle - Enclosure
- at 23.00 hours
- woke up at 01.00
hours from a noise as if the vessel had collided with something, heard several
cracking/crashing noises thereafter;
- a little later
the vessel heeled to starboard to such an extent that he was thrown out of
- met chaos everywhere
on his way up;
- on 7th deck was
an officer with white shirt and walkie-talkie.
- cabin 4214 - port inside, middle (cabin mate of Eckard Klug) -
- woke up when he
was thrown out of his bed by the abrupt heel to starboard;
- visor fell off
after 5-10 minutes, bow ramp looked as if it had fallen backwards.
Jukka Pekka Ihalainen
- cabin 4212 - port inside - (cabin mate of truck driver Leo Sillanpää (((
) - Enclosure
- cabin 4224 - starboard inside - Enclosure
- heard at 00.30
hours strange bangs and metal bearing against metal -
heavy heel to starboard and vessel did not right up;
- heard subsequently
from crew members that water had penetrated the bow ramp.
- cabin 4313 - 2nd cabin starboard forward outside -- statement taken on 06.10.94
- could not sleep
due to labouring of vessel;
- looked frequently
out of the window;
- listened for the
noises which the bow created when smashing into the waves and thought spontaneously
that the vessel should not be going so fast against such waves;
- he noted after
a while that the engine noises became different and he got the impression
that the vessel reduced the speed;
- he was lying there
and continued to listen to the noises and the roaring was quite severe when
the waves slammed against the bow;
- after a while
he heard an enormous crash and the whole vessel was shaking/vibrating;
- he looked out of
the window and is not really sure whether the vessel was proceeding ahead
or was lying still (did not move);
- the normal roaring
noises remained when the bow was slamming into the waves, but then came
"2 metallic noises", which sounded like "klonk-klonk" directly after the bow
was setting into the sea;
- when the next wave
hit the bow Tony Spuhl heard something which sounded like "klonk-klonk-klonk",
3 times. Directly thereafter he heard a rushing noise below his cabin. The
noise came from the car deck.
- he was still lying
in his bed and heard this rushing sound once more;
- his partner René
by then was also awake and he said: "Something is wrong, we must get out of
- Whilst Spuhl was
jumping out of his bed, he saw René opening the door, at this very moment
the vessel heeled suddenly to starboard.
- cabin 4319 - starboard outside -
- nothing special
until midnight - made outside/inside walk around the vessel after midnight
and also looked down on the forecastle deck, saw wet carpet and water on stairs
between decks 5/6;
- heard and felt
between 0.00-01.00 hours heavy metallic banging;
- estimates that
the engines stopped between 01.05-01.10 hours;
- reported the severe
starboard heel only when they were already on the 7th deck together with other
In the aft part
of deck 4 behind the reception area several passengers have survived. Some
of them made the following observations:
port outside :
side : Anneli Konrad :
outside : Tom Olav Jonsson
inner side : Raivo
: Kerim Nisancioglu :
: Janno Aser
Morten Boje Jensen
- 28 years old - cabin 4603 - port outside, 2nd cabin behind the Reception
taken by the Copenhagen police 06.10.94:
- ca. 22.40 hours
Swedish time in bed - 23.00 hours switched off the light, but could not sleep,
he heard continuous "small banging noises" which did not appear to him to
- after a certain
time, cannot say how much later, he heard 3 "bangs" one after the other.
Between the first and the 2nd a car alarm sounded below him, but not after
the 3rd one which came from port side;
- shortly afterwards
the ferry heeled to (he said port) must be starboard side and simultaneously
he heard below himself the noise of a large object moving from port to starboard.
After some seconds he jumped out of bed and left the cabin;
- could not reach
the centre stairway directly because his alleyway was blocked by iron bars
to forward, had to go back and then over to the starboard alleyway which was
- cabin 4620 - dance girl - port inside, 3rd last cabin - Enclosure
- shared cabin with
Hannely Veide, both were making first trip, thus were not yet acquainted with
- last performance
ended at ca. 00.30 hours, whereafter she made her way to her cabin;
- she got lost
and ended up by the lift on the 2nd car deck, where she heard a "crash";
- came finally to
her cabin, felt sick, no water in toilet;
Sillaste was working on the non-functioning vacuum system in the engine room
on 0-deck level at that time.
- she switched off
the light in her cabin to sleep, but it continued to blink (on/off);
- apparently must
have slept, because she stated having woken up due to a "crash" and the
vessel was shaking whereafter she felt that the vessel heeled over.
- cabin 4618 - 4th deck - next cabin further aft. Statement taken on 29.09.94
- in bed - could
not sleep - suddenly she heard "ett brak" = one crash - this was a loud bang
and thereafter the vessel started to heel to starboard.
Statement taken on
01.10.94 - Enclosure
- in bed - heard
a heavy loud noise - "bom" - a noise of the type that makes you realise at
once that something is wrong;
- the vessel heeled
substantially to starboard and maintained the list;
- upon being questioned
with what she could associate the noise "bom" she said it came from the bottom
of the vessel, from the same hull, a clear, distinct "bom" - not rattle;
- when she reached
the deck above, i.e. 7th deck, she looked at her watch and it was 00.05
hours Swedish time = 01.05 hours ship's time.
Tom Olav Jonsson
- cabin 4405 - starboard outside, 3rd cabin after the Reception - Enclosure
- he was in his cabin
and had just completed his toilet/washroom matters when the vessel suddenly
heeled to starboard and did not right up again.
- he looked out of
his window straight into the sea and saw the waves smashing against the window.
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.
- deck passenger in some room in the aft part of deck 4 - Enclosure
- about one hour
before the vessel fell on the side he felt that the vessel's whole construction
was suddenly shaking;
- at some time they
heard metallic noises from upper decks and became aware of the heeling.
- cabin 4429 - starboard outside aft part - Enclosure 22.214.171.1242:
- Magnus and his
wife went to bed at about midnight, but due to the heavy movements of the
vessel it was difficult to sleep;
- at 01.00 hours he
heard strange noises, the tooth brush jumped out of the glass and other things
fell down, he noted noises from the car deck, it appeared as if something
was rolling over the car deck;
- after the rolling
he heard one heavy metal bang and then the vessel heeled 10°-15° to starboard.
It is difficult to state that more exactly as the vessel was still pitching
- in the cinema - aft part of deck 4 - Enclosure
- shortly before
the heeling started the vessel began to roll equally in the waves from side
to side and he believes that then the waves did not come from ahead anymore.
At that time he did not feel the engines;
- in connection with
this rolling, the vessel heeled to starboard and he heard something below
them sliding over to starboard. According to the noise this came from some
place below them and must have been some large object;
- shortly after this
noise he felt that the vessel heeled more to starboard;
- they came to the
Information desk, there were two girls who refused to talk to them - they
were totally helpless.
- deck passenger in cinema in the aft part of deck 4 - Enclosure
- ca. 23.00 hours
- heard a heavy noise
and the vessel heeled to starboard.
- deck passenger on deck 4 -
- woke up when the
vessel heeled to starboard;
- water splashed
against the window.
- cabin 4426 - starboard inside - Enclosure
- heard and felt
hard blows/bangs between 00.00-01.00 hours;
- at 01.00 hours
heavy bang and shortly later the vessel heeled wide to starboard, everything
slid over to the deep side.
- Estonia Club - port aft - Enclosure
- the vessel was
shaking/vibrating when he suddenly felt the heel to starboard, saw furniture
moving to the deep side;
- the heel was 45°
when he had reached deck 7 outside.
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
d.) Several bangs
and starboard heel.
e.) Time of starboard
f.) The righting
up after the big heel.
as to a.)
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
(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
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.)
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.)
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.)
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
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.)
of starboard heeling.
- Anders Ericson
- at ca. 24.00 hours Swedish time = 01.00 hours ship's time suddenly felt
two heavy bangs, got up and dressed and had walked ca. 32 m in the alleyway
when the vessel heeled to starboard ~ 2-3 minutes after 01.00 - 01.02/03.
- Einar Kukk - at
00.50 hours back in cabin and to bed, could not sleep, after 5-10 minutes
strange noise, got up and dressed when vessel heeled to starboard, thus at
ca. 01.00 hours.
- Mikael Öun - alarm
clock fell from table when vessel heeled to starboard and stopped at 00.02
hours Swedish time = 01.02 hours ship's time.
- Stephan Duijndam
- 01.00 hours woke up from noise as if vessel had collided with something,
heard several crashing, cracking noises - thereafter heel to starboard, which
threw him out of his (upper) bed.
- Magnus Lindström
- heard rolling (scraping) noise from below, at ca. 01.00 hours tooth-brush
fell out of glass and other things fell from the shelf, heavy metal bang followed
by the heeling.
- Juri Pekka Purliväli
- awakened at ca. 01.00 hours by an enormous crash followed by the big heel,
two men from the upper beds were thrown to the floor.
- Wanda Wachtmeister
- after she had reached the 7th deck she looked at her watch - it was 01.05
hours, i.e. the heeling must have been some minutes before, say at ca. 01.00
or 01.02 hours.
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.)
righting up after the big heel.
- Mikael Öun
- he thought that they were turning the vessel, it appeared as if the waves
were then coming from the starboard side, the vessel suddenly heeled wide
over, the alarm clock fell from the table and the vessel righted up and heeled
again to ca. 10°-15°.
- There is no other
known statement from the 4th deck survivors about the righting up of the ferry.
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