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Sinking of Estonia

MS Estonia was a cruise ferry built in 1979/80 at the German shipyard Meyer Werft in Papenburg. The ship sank in 1994 in the Baltic Sea in one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century.It is the deadliest shipwreck disaster to have occurred in the Baltic Sea in peacetime, costing 852 lives. However, the sinking of the MV Wilhelm Gustloff during World War II was more deadly.

The Estonia disaster occurred on Wednesday, 28 September 1994, between about 00:55 to 01:50 (UTC+2) as the ship was crossing the Baltic Sea, en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm.

Most of the passengers were Scandinavian, while most of the crew members were Estonian. The ship was fully loaded, and was listing slightly to port because of poor cargo distribution.

A Mayday was communicated by the ship’s crew at 01:22, but did not follow international formats. Estonia directed a call to Silja Europa and only after making contact with her the radio operator uttered the word "Mayday". In English, the radio operator on Silja Europa, chief mate Teijo Seppelin replied: "Estonia, are you calling mayday?" After that, the voice of Andres Tammes took over on Estonia and the conversation shifted to Finnish.
Tammes was able to provide some details about their situation but due to loss of power, he could not give their position, which delayed rescue operations somewhat.

Of the 989 on board, 138 were rescued, but one died later in the hospital. The accident claimed 852 lives[quantify] (501 Swedes, 285 Estonians, 17 Latvians, 10 Finns and 44 people of other nationalities: 1 from each of Belarus, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, 2 from Morocco, 3 from Lithuania, 5 from Denmark, 6 from Norway, 10 from Germany, 11 from Russia), by drowning and hypothermia.

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