Fifteen years since MS Estonia sank; 852 died and 137 lived. I was twelve when this all happened; my only connection was that my family had been on similar ferries before; they were something like a poor man’s holiday. The only bother was getting together a busload of people to share the costs of getting the hundreds of kilometers to the harbor.

Human unease being what it is, it was a long time before we felt comfortable enough with the thought to go on one again. And you just can’t help thinking how incredibly against you the odds would be if something happened.

One of the most terrible rumors (and no less terrible for being unsubstantiated and probably false) was the whisper that circulated after the sinking — that over 700 people had gone down inside the ship, in their cabins, down some 70 meters to the sea bottom… and for a day or two, phones far away rung and futile whispers for help were heard through the static; then mobile batteries and air ran out.

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