The commander's new admission that maybe more than a dozen hitherto unknown were rescued, now stands in stark contrast with everything else on this subject that has been available from any of all official or other known sources:
- In the Swedish tabloid Expressen on the 29th of September 1994 (one day after the disaster) the captain of Mariella, Jan-Tore Thörnroos himself states that 17 persons were rescued from the sea, and 9 were put on board by helicopter. The interview was conducted by Eva Gussarsson.
- The Finnish commanders Jaakko Smolander and Heikki Hyyryläinen by the Helsinki staff of Sjöbyrån i Finska Vikens Sjöbevakningssektion, write in their report after the sinking that Mariella had lifted 18 persons up from the water.
- According to the Joint Accident Investigation Commission final report (JAIC 1997 5:7.5.2) Mariella rescued 15 persons out of life rafts directly from the sea.
Furthermore these official accounts on how many were rescued on board MV Mariella are supported by a number of early TT telegrams that can be read at www.estoniasamlingen.se the information database that Styrelsen för psykologiskt försvar (SPF) produced as the result of a decision by the Swedish government.
Therefore this figure from Jan-Tore Thörnroos constitutes a highly remarkable new account, and one that also strengthens long-time suspicions from both the victims' families and independent researchers that the dozen Estonian crew members, who were accounted for as survivors on many of the first rescue lists, but later "disappeared" said to be dead - in reality lived through the disaster on the 28th of September 1994.
According to international maritime law, the commander has the responsibility to write down the identity of everyone he rescues and lets aboard his vessel in his ships log book. In spite of repeated requests neither Thörnroos nor his then employer Viking Line has returned with any answers about their log.
November 29, 2008
Free Editor in Lund