21.4 Summaries of All Available Statements of Passengers and Crew

21.4.1 Summaries of Passengers Statements

part two


Name Location at heel Pre-casualty observations Noise scenario times/observations Heel Observations during way up Subsequent observations
time/0° righting up ? occurrence
Jaak Mullo truck driver cabin 4213 (with E. Klug) nothing nothing woke up when he was thrown out of bed due to the abrupt heel to starboard visor fell off after 5-10 min. vessel's ramp looked as if fallen back-wards
Bengt Nilsson cabin 1026 ca. 22.00 hrs. on 7th deck forward, nothing special, it was very dark, heavy movements of vessel ca. 23.30 hrs. down to cabin, shower and to bed ca. 24.00 hrs., hard bangs throughout the hull it began to howl, squeak, crackle and scrape and simulta-neously the vessel took a heel which increased opened door and saw Martin Nilsson rushing past, heard strange noises, on car deck level, water on wall and floor estimates that 10 minutes had passed since he left his cabin
Martin Nilsson cabin 1027 heavy labouring of vessels it cracked and sounded like the breaking of the structure, banging noises, slept for ca. 1 hour and woke up ca. 10-15 min. before the accident was a fact woke up from the hard movements, heard a scraping noise as if vessel had run aground, it was scraping and crackling very near, simultaneously the vessel started to shake and then heeled (he moved up, the others down) while the scrap-ing noise contin-ued, rushed out of the cabin up-wards, water on the floor on car deck level (several cm), inside deck 7 saw two crew members with walkie-talkies door to outside deck 7 was already open
Ants Nadar cabin 1025 woke up from hard banging noises started his way up, when the vessel heeled severely when he came to deck 7 the engines had stopped
Lars-Torsten Österberg Statoil employee cabin 5206 Karaoke Bar rough sea state, difficult to walk, always had to hold on to something at about 01.00 hrs. vessel rolled - 2-3 times and then heeled wider over and righted up ca. 01.00 hrs. yes after righting up, took heel relatively quickly of up to 30°, heeled in steps on deck 7 still 30°, which increased to 45° subsequently

saw the vessel sinking stern first and the last he saw was white

Mikael Öun Scania engineer cabin 4217 had seen that the visor was closed was in the sauna and heard low banging noises combined with vessel's movements in the waves

1) heavy bang, vessel almost stopped,

2) 30 sec. later another bang,

3) directly followed by 3 heavy bounces (stronger than sledge hammer), 3 short, loud noises followed each other; all subsequent noises were much lower and he thought they were turning the vessel, it appeared as if the waves were now coming from the side, the vessel heeled over wider, the alarm clock fell from the table, vessel righted up and heeled again ca. 15°

01.02 hrs. yes

it looked like torn off steel, but was the port stabiliser

Name Location at heel Pre-casualty observations Noise scenario times/observations Heel Observations during way up Subsequent observations
time/0° righting up ? occurrence

Carl Övberg




























cabin 1049




























only service personnel, otherwise no crew visible, 22.30 hrs. to bed, vessel had slight list to starboard

























1) woke up at about 00.30 hrs. from strong noise of rushing water at both sides, more at starboard, 2) strong metallic banging noises which had not been there before, 3) after some time heard the sudden starting up of hydraulic pumps, clicking of valves, hydraulic under load noise and, 4) simultaneously banging of sledge hammers; uncertain whether the noises came from forward, 5) hydraulic noise faded away and came back while the sledge hammering continued for ca. 10-15 minutes, 6) the other banging noises were heard for ca. 20-25 minutes, 7) the hydraulic and sledge-hammer noises stopped with a sharp, short metallic crash, 8) after 30-40 sec. silence, the next really extreme crash followed and he was thrown for-ward against the wall, 9) engine had stopped, 10) out of cabin (WT-doors were open), into stairway, jacket hooked, looked back, 11) saw water under pressure escape from two goose-necks and also water coming out of door from cleaning room, 12) continued up and when he was halfway up to car deck the ferry heeled ca. 50-60° to starboard and righted up, 13) thereafter list increased in steps, 14) continued to deck 7.

ca. 01.00 hrs























































Name Location at heel Pre-casualty observations Noise scenario times/observations Heel Observations during way up Subsequent observations
time/0° righting up ? occurrence
Rait Pöllendik cabin 1119 Pub Admiral no report no report big heel to star-board, left Pub Admiral up to deck 7 none none
Gennadi M. Pärson cabin 1013 before it all began he heard on vessel's radio that there was an alarm situation slept only very slightly, heard a strange noise as if big drum rolling over something felt the heel, got dressed and out of cabin
Anita Persson-Flygare cabin 6012 came to cabin sometime before 01.00 hrs. - after 7-8 min. vessel heeled to starboard very heavily ca. 01.00 hrs. was pressed against the wall, door flew open
Juri Pekka Purliväli cabin 4th deck to bed at 21.00 hrs. woke up after some time from an enormous crash 01.00 hrs. everything moved to starboard and two men from upper bed were thrown to the floor at the end of the alleyway there was already cold seawater, on deck 7 there were already more than 400 persons saw a Swedish crew member speaking quietly to the Estonian crew, tried to get lifeboat loose, but it was too corroded
Thure Palmgrén cabin 4th deck about midships vessel's movements became worse towards midnight, went to cabin after 00.00 hrs. metallic banging noises from forward began, rang the alarm, nothing, wife changed from bed to sofa, ca. 00.45 hrs. vessel shaking, vibrating and noise as if running aground or plates smashed in ca. 01.00 hrs. big heel and left cabin 25(45° believes one of the crashing noises was an explosion
Indrek Pungar truck driver cabin 4253 heard crash and vessel heeled
Per-Arne Persson truck driver cabin 4222/23 trucks were not secured vessel was shaking very strangely, very heavy crash as if the vessel would fall to pieces big heel to starboard engine stopped saw water on starboard side of 4th deck
Bert Roos cabin 6104 heavy bangs and heel

witness refused to testify properly

Manfred Rothe Pub Admiral ca. 10 min. before the first shock through the vessel, glasses fell off shelf, crew removed all glasses/bottles into a case which was put into a store room behind the bar yes next came the main shock and every-thing flew into the store/the kitchen, into the bar engines stopped in ca. 30 min. the vessel was on the side
Carl-Erik Reintamm cabin 1094 to bed ca. 00.00-00.30 hrs. shortly later he heard/felt scraping noises/as if ice was scraping along the hull, scraping from below, vessel heeled slightly, opened door and saw water streaming on the floor, small heel felt that vessel heeled and rushed up met two crew members on deck and reported water on deck 1, they rushed down-wards, vessel heeled more and up to deck 7 <-- they were officers wearing white shirts, blue trousers, one had a walkie-talkie
Georg Sörensen was in cabin with Herbert Augustin saw through the window that vessel heeled in agreement with M. Rothe's explanations on board of "SILJA SYMPHONY"
Paul Siht cabin 1021 on 5th deck on 5th deck at the slot machines rushed to 7th deck when vessel heeled
Dainis Sleiners cabin 1015 met 10 officers in uniform in Admiral's Pub which he considered strange was sleeping at 22.30 hrs., heard strange banging noises ca. 01.30 hrs. woke up from heavy crash and vessel was shaking/ vibrating and then heeled engines had stopped, water in alleyway of car deck level, 40-45° at deck 7
Tony Spuhl cabin 4313 banging noises when the bow struck the sea heard below noise of rushing water, twice, something wrong, engine reduced or stopped major crash, vessel shaking and heeled abruptly, everything fell down out into alleyway a passenger was shouting: "It is burning in the vessel."
Daniel Svensson Bible School Jönköping cabin 1027 vessel was pitching and rolling when bow was meeting the waves something hammered against the hull suddenly the vessel stopped after heeling and then continued to heel, out of cabin and up on car deck he saw water splashing through the doors, ca. 10 cm, water on floor

Rolf Sörman







cabin 6217 Pub Admiral






19.45 hrs. some pump started running at high noise level below their conference room on deck 4 and they closed their meeting (high rpms like pump), heard that noise still later in other parts of the ship

ca. 01.05 hrs. 45/50°













vessel heeled slightly to port (like at course alteration) and came back, a little later heavy heel and everything moved to the deep side, uprighted and heeled and upright-ed again, then stepwise more and more to starboard. it took 35 minutes from heel to 90° saw two per-sons coming out from some sort of emergency exit in the funnel, they were Estonians or Finns, one shouted: "water is coming up from car deck", the two were crew members
Hannu Seppänen cabin 63..... 5th deck near shops vessel was shaking/ vibrating in the sea state 1st heel, 2nd heel, 3rd heel and 40° list, 10 seconds in between up to deck 7 02.00 hrs. the vessel had disappeared from the surface
Jaan Stern cabin 1120 (most forward on deck 1) heard hard bangs before casualty left cabin after heel and after water had penetrated cabin through door
Tönn Töniste cabin 1st deck

00.30 hrs. woke from movements

Name Location at heel Pre-casualty observations Noise scenario times/observations Heel Observations during way up Subsequent observations
time/0° righting up ? occurrence
Arturas Tamasaukas refused to testify and left hospital without permission
Ulla Marianne Tenman outside on deck 7 starboard side sometime before casualty heard heavy bangs and something beating against the hull she went from her cabin 1098 up to deck 7 and waited, suddenly heavy bang and the vessel heeled
Raivo Tönisson truck driver cabin 4426 or 4226 truck was not secured between 23.00 and 00.00 hrs. hard blow/bang/ contact 01.00 hrs. hard bang and heel, everything slid to the deep side
Ainus Toobal cabin 4224 vessel moved heavily at 00.30 hrs. strange bangs and metal beats against metal no heavy heel, did not right up at the bow ramp water had penetrated
Pierre Thiger Karaoke Br with Altti Hakanpää vessel laboured heavily, speed too high, heeled always more to starboard (had to hold on to the bar)

- 00.45 hrs. muffled sound,

ca. - 30 seconds later again (sharp, short sounds)

- vessel shook somewhat

- vessel made slow pitch movements

01.00 hrs.


yes - no more bangs but vibrations in aft ship as if going astern - felt propeller vibrations (glasses clinking) - then he heard the noise: - very low noise and all pitch movements stopped, also all vibrations - then pitching again without noise (0-pitch) - 1 minute just pitching - pitching/rolling, i.e. 2 full swings, 3rd heel to starboard 15°-->45°/50° - righted up and heeled again to 40/45° - stabilised 10-12 min. and then to 90° saw port stabiliser moving up/down
Juuse Veljo cabin 1007 hard pitch movements, ca. 22.30 hrs. some roll movements and had to hold on to something to Pub Admiral, glasses toppled over, vessel rolled no vessel heeled to starboard and up to deck 7 upon being questioned respectively he answered that he did not see a hole in the vessel's starboard side vessel heeled stepwise

heard pumping noises inside the vessel when he was on way to the water - light blinking

Name Location at heel Pre-casualty observations Noise scenario times/observations Heel Observations during way up Subsequent observations
time/0° righting up ? occurrence
Rein Vaaske deck 5 sleeping room after 00.00 hrs. hard bang from mid of vessel, vessel was shaking after 5-7 min. heel to starboard to 15-20° heel increased to 40°-45°, crew member showed up who was under shock light out/on, water already on aft deck of deck 5
Vassili Vorodin cabin 6320 together with cousin Alexander and uncle Vasili Krjutjkov 24.00 hrs. to bed ca. 01.00 hrs. heavy heel and thrown out of bed, looked out of window and vessel heeled severely to starboard was thrown from stairs against wall and he broke his hand
Alexander Vorodin cabin 6320 ca. 00.30 hrs. very hard bang slight heel to starboard, some minutes later another much stronger bang, more heeling another bang and vessel heeled further aft part under water when he went overboard
Siegfried Wolf cabin 6317 near Tax Free Shop confirms statement Manfred Rothe
Holger Wachtmeister cabin 1047/48 heavy movements caused headache since the trucks were not secured woke up from scraping noise and heavy crash, heavy heel when he left cabin water on 1st deck and car deck
Name Location at heel Pre-casualty observations Noise scenario times/observations Heel Observations during way up Subsequent observations
time/0° righting up ? occurrence
Wanda Wachtmeister cabin 4618 together with her brother Holger until ca. 00.30 hrs. went to bed, but could not sleep, vessel was behaving violently ca. 01.00 hrs. no suddenly she heard a crash downwards, it was an extreme sound, soon the vessel heeled to starboard the vessel remained in heeled condition for some time when she was out on deck 7, it was 01.05 hrs.
Jasmina Waidinger cabin 1027 in cabin together with Daniel Svensson 00.30 hrs. to bed, low banging noises, she heard low, running water sound from above, it was 01.00 hrs. and she was just dozing shortly ca. 01.00 hrs. when she heard a strong crash, which she believed came from above, it appeared that something huge moved from one side to the other, after this strong scraping noise the vessel heeled severely to starboard on 1st deck in alleyway outside the cabin
Kerim Nisancioglu deck passenger in cinema aft of deck 4 saw that bow door was closed ca. 23.00 hrs. to sleep vessel began to roll from side to side and he did not hear the engines any-more, vessel heeled to starboard and something big moved from star-board to port below him vessel heeled wide to starboard and he looked straight into the sea