Reports from Deck 5



Only in the forward third of this deck passenger cabins were arranged. In the middle was the large Tax-Free Shop, the Boutiques were at starboard side as well as the Pub Admiral, also called the Karaoke Bar. On port side there was the Arcade, with the Playroom and in the aft part Café Neptunus. Considerable modifications had been carried out on this deck in comparison to the newbuilding condition. The drawing attached after this page shows the location of the cabins of the survivors from this deck:

Birgit Eriksson - cabin 5229 - 1st cabin on port side in front of accommodation (overlooking forecastle) Enclosure

Sten Jolind - cabin 5135 - first outside cabin, port side, forward - Enclosure

Leif Bogren - cabin 5128 - port inside, 4th cabin from forward - Protocol 01.10.94 - Enclosure 20.242:

Additional Protocol of 02.10.94 (is attached to his statement):

Summary of the reports in his book: "Therefore I Survived the 'Estonia' Catastrophe"

Håkan Ekstedt - cabin 5205 - port inside, aft - Enclosure

Leja Kozareva - in toilet near Pub Admiral - Enclosure

Hannu Seppänen - deck 5, Tax Free Shop area - Enclosure 17.2.227:

Rein Vaaske - deck 5 - Sleeping Room - Enclosure 17.2.231:

Siegfried Wolf - 5th deck - near Tax Free Shop - Enclosure

Georg Sörensen - 5th deck, starboard cabin - Enclosure

Paul Siht - 5th deck, near the slot machines - Enclosure

Paul Barney - in the Café Neptunus - Enclosure

Sarah Hedrenius - in the Café Neptunus - Enclosure


The now following summaries of statements refer to the survivors from the "Pub Admiral", also called the "Karaoke Bar" since Karaoke was performed there.

Pierre Thiger - Admiral's Pub on deck 5 - together with Altti Hakanpää - Statement taken on 03.10.94 - Enclosure

In June 1997 it was finally possible for a member of this 'Group of Experts' to talk to Pierre Thiger personally.
The result is stated below:

»On the night of the casualty he had not been out on deck, but watched the sea state through the windows, the speed of the "Estonia" was highly excessive under the circumstances, as a matter of fact Pierre Thiger has never before or thereafter experienced that a vessel was smashed so hard into heavy headseas, each time the bow smashed into the sea, the vessel almost stopped, was shaking and vibrating and then accelerated again until it smashed into the next wave and so on, in addition to this very hard pitching, she was rolling, always more to starboard than to port, because he remembers having to continuously hold himself to the bar with one hand (for the last hour or so he was sitting together with Altti Hakanpää in the Admiral's Pub on 5th deck) to avoid his bar stool tilting over to starboard.
According to his observations the sequence-of-events started 10-15 minutes before midnight (Swedish time) when he heard 3 bangs with 15-20 seconds in between, metal to metal and thought it was a collision, the ship was shaking and vibrating differently than before, shortly afterwards he noted that she was pitching more, but made much slower and deeper movements, there were no more bangs but suddenly he felt vibrations in the aft ship which made him think that they had turned the stern into the sea and the pitch was on astern, he could not see anything out of the window, he felt the vibrations from the propeller (glasses were clinking) and then he heard the strange noise: A very low noise and simultaneously the pitch movements stopped as if a wave had struck under the stern, then all vibrations stopped and in the same second she continued to pitch again, however, without any engine noise, for about one minute she was only pitching, then pitching and rolling, and then only rolling - she made two full swings - more to starboard, less to port, and the third time she heeled over deep to starboard, did not right up again and then fell abruptly to about 40°/45°, this was just before midnight (Swedish time), she came back to almost upright position and then heeled to about 10°/15° and further heeled to about 40°/45° when she stabilised herself for at least 10 probably 12 minutes, whereafter she continued to heel from 45° to 90° relatively quickly before she was fully on the side, the funnel smashed a couple of times on the waves;
when he had reached the outside of the 7th deck, the list was about 40°, wind and sea were coming abeam from starboard and at port side, 5-6 points aft of abeam there were lights, after they had been on deck for sometime already and the list had slowly increased to about 45°, the lights went out, but immediately thereafter came back, all this was within the ca. 10-12 minute phase, when the ferry had stabilised herself at a heel of 40°-45°.
He was subsequently picked-up by SILJA SYMPHONY and came ashore at Helsinki, where he was interrogated for the first time but does not have a copy of the protocol. In Stockholm he was subsequently questioned again by the Swedish police and by Olof Forsberg from the JAIC. «

The respective memo is attached as Enclosure Only recently the statement of Pierre Thiger taken by Olof Forsberg on 14.10.94 was received and is attached as Enclosure See also Subchapter 21.8 - Other Observations.

Juuse Veljo - Enclosure 20.245:

Note: At that time the emergency generator must still have been running which was providing power to the following installations:

- navigation apparatuses, navigating lights, day light, radar, gyro- and autopilot, typhoon
- emergency lighting
- alarm system
- gyro compass
- radio
- CO2-fan (engine room evac. fan)
- lift motors
- certain fans
- one steering gear pump
- fire pump
- sprinkler pump
- emergency bilge pump
- intercommunication
- loudspeaker system
- one hydraulic pump for stern ramp
Consequently it has to be assumed that Juuse Veljo heard the running fire-, sprinkler- or emergency bilge pumps.

Ronnie Bergqvist - Policeman ST Section - Enclosure

Karin Bergqvist - Enclosure

Maria Fägersten - Policewoman ST Section - Enclosure

Tomas Grunde - Statoil - Enclosure

Kent Härstedt - member of a social team - Enclosure

Altti Hakanpää - private businessman - Enclosure

Lars-Torsten Österberg - Statoil - Enclosure

Rolf Sörman - member of social team - Enclosure

On 13.11.1999 Rolf Sörman was heard by a member of this 'Group of Experts' and stated, among others, the following (see Enclosure

Tåge Hellgren - Policeman from ST Section - Enclosure

Jan Grafström - Policeman from ST Section - Enclosure

Urban Lambertsson - Estline employee (booking manager) - Enclosure


Summary of observations made / noises heard / times realised by passengers/ crew members in the area of the 5th deck

Before and after the starboard heel:

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

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

c.) Several bangs and starboard heel.

d.) Time of starboard heel.

e.) The righting up after the big heel.


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

(1) Heavy bangs believed to result from too fast speed in heavy weather;

(2) vessel behaved like a small boat slamming over the waves;

(3) at about 00.00 hours vessel started to roll, although it had been pitching all the time and a shock was felt like running aground;

(4) after 00.00 hours "muffled" sound which was nevertheless heavy - like something moving from side to side and then crashing against the hull;

(5) at about 00.40/45 hours heavy banging noises - metal-to-metal and the vessel was shaking;

(6) some time before the big heel unusual shaking/vibrating in vessel's hull;

(7) ca. 10 minutes before the big heel the first shock ran through the vessel;

(8) at ca. 00.45 hours one dull bang and ca. 1/2 minute later another one of the sharp, short sounds and the vessel was somewhat shaking;

(9) at 00.45 hours the casualty sequence-of-events began with shocks in the vessel and the glasses hanging in holdings above the bar fell down;

(10) the vessel was twice shaken very heavily and the dancing girls in the Restaurant Poseidon fell to the floor.

In summary of the above item a.) it has to be concluded that

- at about 00.00 hours the vessel was rolling for a while instead of pitching and seemed to strike against something like running aground;

- at 00.40/45 hours there were three heavy banging noises heard and shocks/vibrations felt, it was - metal-to-metal - the vessel was shaking / vibrating;

- ca. 00.45 hours there were two dull, sharp bangs;

- it was generally felt that the casualty sequence-of-events commenced at ca. 00.45 hours.


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

(1) After the three heavy banging noises the engines stopped;

(2) after the three heavy banging noises she was pitching much slower and more deeply - feeling as if the vessel turned - propeller vibrations were still being felt - but 0-pitch;

(3) after the big heels the engines were not heard or felt anymore.


as to c.) Several bangs and starboard heel.

(1) Noises like steel plates knocking against steel plates and the vessel heeled heavily to starboard;

(2) before 01.00 hours 2-3 really heavy bangs; the vessel heeled wide to starboard;

(3) two heavy bangs and one CRASH and about 1 minute later the vessel heeled to starboard;

(4) at about 01.00 hours hard bangs from the middle of the ferry, after 5-7 minutes starboard heel;

(5) there were two major shocks in the vessel and the big heel occurred;

(6) there was a bang/shock as if there had been a collision, then cracking and scraping noises were heard and then the vessel suddenly heeled very wide to starboard;

(7) two heavy bangs made the vessel shake as if hit by a rock, vessel moved up and down (pitching), shortly afterwards the big heel occurred;

(8) vibrations in the aftship and from the propeller - very strange, low noise, pitching movements and all vibrations stopped and in the same second pitching started again but without engine noises - ca. 1 minute pitching - then pitching and rolling and then only rolling - 2 full swings - deeper to starboard, less to port, then deep to starboard - no righting up - then abruptly to 40°-50°, came back to almost upright condition and subsequently heel 10°-15° to starboard;

(9) the vessel started to shake and vibrate and the bar personnel took the bottles down from the shelves, just after 01.00 hours the vessel heeled first to port, then followed a very hard push connected with a bang/crash and the vessel heeled very wide to starboard.

In summary of the above item c.) it has to be concluded that

- before the big heel at about 01.00 hours there were heavy knocking noises, bangs, a CRASH followed by cracking/scraping along vessel's hull, possibly bottom, vibrating and shaking of the vessel;

- it felt like a collision or hitting a rock;

- vessel's movements changed from pitching, to pitching/rolling and to rolling, whereafter the two big heels occurred and the vessel righted up again but subsequently fell again to starboard.

as to d.) Time of starboard heel.

(1) just after 01.00 hours.

(2) ca. 00.55 hours (twice)

(3) about 01.20 hours/01.25 hours

(4) about 01.07/10 hours

(5) just after 01.00 hours

(6) ca. 01.15 hours

(7) at about 01.00 hours

(8) at about 01.00 hours

(9) at about 01.05 hours

(10) just after 01.00 hours

(11) ca. 01.00 hours.

In summary of item d.) it has to be concluded that the majority of survivors from deck 5 put the time for the big heel at just before or just after 01.00 hours.


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

(1) The vessel heeled deep to starboard and righted up, whereafter she heeled again to starboard;

(2) the ferry fell abruptly to about 40°/50° - this was just before 01.00 hours - she came back to almost upright condition and then heeled to about 10°/15° to starboard;

(3) the vessel heeled suddenly ca. 45° to starboard and came back to almost upright condition and then heeled stepwise more and more to starboard;

(4) at about 01.00 hours the vessel rolled 2-3 times, then heeled wide over to starboard and came back to almost upright condition.

(5) the vessel heeled twice very deeply to starboard and back to almost upright condition.

In summary of item e.) it has to be concluded that although only 5 survivors have directly testified that the ferry righted up after the big heel, it is certain that many more had noted it but have not testify respectively because they were not asked.