Written by Anders Björkman
Independent sea safety expert and naval architect Anders Björkman, author of several books on the Estonia catastrophe, calls the seriously flawed JAIC report "the biggest fraud in maritime history" adding that "every essential piece of information in the final report is false or misleading."
Immediately after the accident - before it was even admitted that the wreck had been found - Swedish authorities and media seized on one theory for the sinking. The blame was put on ship's bow visor and car ramp construction, which they said had opened due to the force of the waves. This had allowed seawater to flood the car deck, they said, causing the vessel to capsize and sink. No other causes were ever investigated.
"There is no evidence that this allegation is true", Björkman says. "The vessel never capsized. It sank without capsizing.”
"The public was told that underwater filming of the wreck had confirmed that the visor was missing," he said, and that this had caused the ferry to sink.
"There is no way that waves of 4 meters could have knocked off Estonia's visor," Björkman wrote. "This is the central lie of the whole cover-up.”
"The visor had nothing to do with the accident", Björkman, who was a naval engineer with the Swedish navy says, "but was simply removed from the wreck under water by the Swedish navy after the accident - so the sinking could be blamed on the visor."
For a week after Estonia sank, Swedish authorities said they could not locate the wreck, although extensive rescue operations had been conducted at the site. Later it was learned that the only ships at the correct wreck position at that time were from the Swedish navy. A blue buoy meant to indicate the wreck's position was intentionally misplaced to mislead the media and others.