01:00 > 01:30
Some of the people onboard sensed a thump different from the others...

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A moment after 01:00 as the ship was approaching a spot ~35 km south east of  Utö island, in the outer region of  Turku archipelago, something went wrong. Some of the people onboard sensed a thump different from the others, and wondered what it was. A passenger in a cabin close to the car deck said that he woke up to a loud rumble, and run quickly up on deck. Others never made it out.
Passenger Vilho Itäranta told the media in the hospital:
- "Suddenly the table and the suitcases tumbled down in the cabin. I yelled to my friend: "LETS GET OUT, QUICKLY!! It's our only chance!" I started running without knowing where my friend left."

The Bar (Pub)
The Bar


The vessel suddenly lurched some 30 - 40 degrees to the right.

Henrik Sillaste (motorman):
- "I was in the engine room when barrels suddenly started rolling around. I run up (to the control room) and found the engineer in duty by the monitors, showing the stern and the bow doors. In the bow monitor we could see, that a lot of water rapidly swelled in through the bow door."
Kent Härstedt 29:
- "The cozy atmosphere in the bar with people singing, laughing and having a good time was just in a few seconds to be changed to total chaos. Suddenly the ship leaned down on the side, and the girls who sold drinks in the bar got everything in the bar over themselves, and fell to the floor. At the same time a crowd of people fell on to the wall breaking arms and legs. Just for a short moment people were wondering what was going on, and could not quite understand what had happened. One tiny second everybody stopped and just looked at each other. It felt like they were just standing and observing one and other without understanding what was going on."
Vilho Itäranta:
- "I went to the highest place, where the lifeboats were. As far as I could see there were no lifeboats lowered, at least from that side. "
At 01:24 when Estonia was in position 59 º 23' N - 21 º 42' E, in the Baltic Sea, bearing ~ 157 º ~ 22 nautical miles from Utö island (Finland) , Radio operator Ilkka Kärppälä received a May-Day message.
-"I started my watch at 22:00 and everything was real quiet. At 01:24 the Estonia sent a May - Day message telling that they have a bad list and black-out. The contact lasted for about two minutes and was the only one."


Estonia was also in contact with Silja Europa and Silja Symphony.

Sound files (.wav) of
May-Day message Estonia <> Silja Europa:

May-Day 1
"-Silja Europa Viking. Estonia. - Estonia, Estonia."

May-Day 2
"-a..may-day, may-day."

May-Day 3
"-Europa Estonia - Estonia Silja Europa, over."

May-Day 4
"-..on your a..replaying..are you, are you going may-day?"

May-Day 5
"-Estonia what's going on? Can you reply!"

May-Day 6
"-joo meillä on nytten tässä ongelma!" (Yes we have a problem here now!)

May-Day 7
"-on paha kallistuma oikealle puolelle" (there is a bad slant to the right side)

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