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Maritime Disaster: MS Estonia

June 2nd, 2016 by Piper Smith

The Estonia disaster occurred on September 28, 1994 when the ship was crossing the Baltic Sea, en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. She was carrying 989 passengers and crew. The first sign of trouble was a strange sound of metal against metal heard  when the ship was on the outskirts of the Turku archipelago; but an investigation of the bow visor showed no obvious damage.  Soon alarms turned on and after this, the general lifeboat alarm was given and then the vessel lurched 30-40 degrees starboard, making it practically impossible to move about safely inside the ship. Doors and hallways became deadly pits and those who were going to survive were already on-deck. A Mayday was communicated by the ship’s crew at 01:22, but it did not follow international formats. Due to loss of power, the ship could not communicate their position, which had delayed rescue operations. Out of a total of 989 passengers and crew on board, 137 were saved.

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