The Baltic Ferry Disaster: 'Estonia' found in blackspot of Baltic
Saturday 01 October 1994
But the search ship, which used sophisticated sonar equipment to pick out the hull lying on its side on the ocean floor, just south of Uto Island in the Gulf of Finland, was unable to send remote video cameras down to examine the ferry, because of high winds and rough seas.
Coast guard officers who have co-ordinated the search of the area since the disaster in the early hours of Wednesday, which is believed to have claimed 910 lives, with only 99 bodies so far recovered, hope the storm will abate this morning so that they can send another ship with video cameras on a robot to the scene.
Last night, after revealing that the ship had been discovered two hours and 40 minutes after the beginning of the search operation by Juoko Nuorteva aboard the Suunta, coast guard officials refused to disclose the exact position, for the sake of the bereaved.
Raimo Tiilikainen, commander of the Finnish coast guard search operation, said: 'I will not give the position because if it turns out to be a grave, there will be too many people trying to go there.' He said it was in the area south of Uto lighthouse, which he described as the 'Graveyard of Ships'.
The ship is lying on the seabed, facing east-to-west, on a slope, with the bow section at a depth of 54m (162ft) and the stern down 86m. It had capsised and is lying on its left, port, side. Mr Nuorteva and his team marked the ship's position with automatic navigation equipment to enable future inspectors to find the wreck.
Another ship, the Halli, will travel to the spot this morning and send down the robot with three video cameras, one colour, one black-and-white, one low-light and a stills camera, in an effort to glean further information as to what caused the sinking.
Bodies recovered from the disaster have been taken to Helsinki University's medical centre, where forensic pathologists are trying to identify them. Relatives who fear they have lost someone in the tragedy have been asked to send items such as combs and toothbrushes, so that scientists can obtain cellular material to identify the bodies, using DNA testing. They have been asked not to visit the centre because of the trauma this would involve. So few of the missing have been recovered that there would be only a one-in-eight chance of finding loved ones.
Anatoli Jaanskelainen, the senior forensic pathologist, said that once his team believed they could put a name to the body, relatives might be asked to give a final identification. 'But we do not want to have people come and walk up and down lines of dead bodies, maybe a hundred, and in the end not even find their relatives,' he said. Mr Jaanskelainen predicted that more bodies, perhaps up to 150, would surface from the wreck. The furthest has been found 12 miles from the ship's last known position, where it lies with numerous other wrecks.
Baltic abyss, page 15
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers recruited by the Shia Houthi rebels who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...