Surviving Disaster The Estonia BBC doc


Mar 28, 2002
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One of the closing quotes from a survivor on this tragedy was: "There weren't many heroes at all that night and I wasn't one of them."

This was more or less repeated by the few survivors that were interviewed for the programme as they told how they managed to escape the sinking and capsizing ferry in 1994. They talked of leaving behind petrified loved ones, climbing over people blocking the way and making sure they got out by any means they could.

One survivor said: "It wasn't like Hollywood. There were no heores and no happy endings." In addition to these feelings of guilt, the statistics of the survivors showed that the vast majority of them were able bodied and strong, young males. There were no survivors under the age of 12 and none over 55. Just 137 lived of the 989 people on board.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Some time ago, I saw an interview with an Estonia survivor. He was one of the strong, young males Iain mentions.

He put his survival down to the fact that he was awake and stone sober. People from local rescue services confirmed that alcohol adds to the danger if one of these Baltic ferries gets into trouble. Many passengers use them to cruise and booze on duty-free grog.
 
Mar 28, 2002
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It has to be said that the disaster happened in the early hours of the morning when the vast majority of the people on board were in their cabins. Most had retired early because the motion of the ship in the heavy seas had made them seasick and I guess those who weren't ill from the effects of the weather were fed up with being thrown around in the public areas.

There is frightening survivor testimony from people who survived in the bar and disco areas. I'm very surprised that they were allowed to still be open at 2am in the morning in a storm that was already throwing people off their feet.
 

Dave Gittins

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Imagine being drunk and seasick to boot. Just the condition for quick and decisive action!
 

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