Previous Home Summary Contents



The joint Estonian/Finnish/Swedish Accident Investigation Commission was set up on 29 September 1994, in accordance with a decision taken on 28 September 1994 at Turku, Finland, by the prime ministers of the three countries.


Andi Meister, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Estonia (until 1996-07-30)
After his resignation from the minister's post on 17 April 1995 Andi Meister's powers as a member of the Commission were extended by order the Estonian Government 12 May 1995.

Uno Laur, Master Mariner, Chairman, Consulting of Merchant Marine Ltd, Nominee of the President of the Republic of Estonia (from 1996-09-24)

Estonian members

Uno Laur (until 1996-09-23)

Enn Neidre, Master Mariner, Head, Navigational Department, Estonian Shipping Company (until 1996-04-16)

Priit Männik, Master of Laws, Deputy Director-General, Estonian Police (from 1996-04-16 until 1997-10-27)

Heino Jaakula, Naval Architect, Head of Department, Estonian National Maritime Board (from 1996-07-30)

Jaan Metsaveer, D.Sc., Professor, Tallinn Technical University (from 1997-10-28)

Finnish members

Kari Lehtola, Master of Laws, Director, Accident Investigation Board

Heimo Iivonen, Rear-admiral, Director, Finnish Life-Boat Society

Tuomo Karppinen, D.Tech., Senior Research Scientist, Technical Research Centre of Finland, Manufacturing Technology

Swedish members

Olof Forssberg, Master of Laws, Director-General, Board of Accident Investigation (until 1997-05-27)

Ann-Louise Eksborg, Master of Laws, Director-General, Board of Accident Investigation (from 1997-06-16)

Hans Rosengren, Master Mariner, Chief Nautical Investigator, Board of Accident Investigation

Börje Stenström, Naval Architect, Chief Maritime Technical Investigator, Board of Accident Investigation 25.2.1997

Olle Noord, Master Mariner, United Tankers AB (from 1997-06-16)

Estonian experts

August Ingerma, Ph.D. (Structural Integrity)

Heino Jaakula (until 1996-07-29)

Jaan Metsaveer (until 1997-10-27)

Priit Männik (until 1996-04-15)

Enn Neidre (from 1996-04-17)

Estonian observer

Kalle Pedak, Master Mariner, Director-General, Estonian National Maritime Board

Estonian administrators

Tiit Kaurla, M.Sc. (Tech.), Ministry of Transport and Communications

Aet Varik, B.A., Ministry of Transport and Communications

Finnish experts

Simo Aarnio, Master Mariner (Navigation) 22.1.1996

Kari Larjo, Master Mariner (Navigation) (from 1996-02-27)

Harri Rahikka, Detective Chief Superintendent (Liaison, Finnish Police)

Klaus Rahka, D.Tech. (Structural Integrity)

Seppo Rajamäki, M.Sc. (Maritime Radio)

Finnish observer

Jukka Häkämies, Head, Division of Maritime Inspections, Finnish Maritime Administration

Finnish administrator

Pirjo Valkama-Joutsen, M.Sc., Accident Investigation Board

Swedish experts

Mikael Huss, Ph.D. (Naval Architecture)

Olle Noord (until 1997-06-15)

Bengt Schager, M.Sc. (Organizational Human Behaviour) (until 1997-09-08)

Swedish observer

Sten Anderson, Master Mariner, Swedish Maritime Administration

Svedish administrator

Gunnel Göransson, Board of Accident Investigation


The Joint Commission was set up to find the cause of the accident, to examine the reasons why the loss of lives attained such magnitude and to present proposals for measures that would help to prevent the future occurrence of a similar accident.
At the first meeting of the Commission, on 29 September 1994, it was deemed essential that the Commission act as a single unit in drawing conclusions and issuing official reports, but in carrying out the investigation the parties of the three countries were to have an independent status, without any duty to report back to, or to act on the instructions of, the states that proposed their appointment.

Work schedule

At the first meeting, the areas of the investigation were divided between the Estonian, Finnish and Swedish parties of the Commission.
The Commission has had 20 internal meetings, lasting a total of 51 days. In addition to the meetings of the entire Commission, meetings have been held by experts and other working groups.

Tracing the wreck of the ESTONIA

The locating of the wreck of the ESTONIA began on the day after the accident, 29 September 1994. The wreck was found on 30 September 1994.

Underwater operations by ROV

The wreck was filmed with a submarine ROV camera on 2 October 1994 and again for further details on 9-10 October 1994 and 19 June 1996.

Tracing and recovering of the bow visor

The bow visor of the ESTONIA was found on 18 October 1994. It was raised to the surface on 18 November 1994 and taken ashore in Hanko, Finland.

Diving operations

Diving investigations of the wreck, including a survey of the bow area and the navigation bridge, were carried out on 2-5 December 1994.

Home Summary Contents Next