Sunday, September 28th is the 20th anniversary of the passenger ferry M / S Estonia sank. In reportage Ripples on the water, we get by Moa Samuelsson meet people who became a part of the event. A book about sadness – and hope.
On board the ferry which sank in bad weather between Utö Finnish and Estonian island of Hiiumaa were 989 people, 852 were killed. One of those who survived were Moa Samuelson’s mother, Anita Persson Aviators. Mom Anita went with his staff on the conference, nine were killed at the Estonia, three survived and came home to Stockholm. She tells of the struggle in the cold water:
“Then out of nowhere comes – a hand. A stretched, strong, purposeful hand, inside the raft. There’s someone there. Someone who wants to lift me up . But I’m stuck. Wait. disappearance not, I have to try to get loose. knotted rope, what have I done., I have buzzed me down. So, now I’m free. Attempts together. pulling fight. And so completely suddenly inside the raft full of water. ”
– I wrote the book primarily because my mother would tell her story in her own way. When one is involved in such a major disaster, it will be easy so that you end up in the hands of others, and people make their own interpretation of why it has survived. Therefore, it has been very important for the mother to tell that everyone did their best to help each other. It was thanks to many people’s co-operation that she survived, says Moa Samuelsson.
– While of course I am a journalist and contemporary historian and wanted to know more and to hear other people’s stories told directly by those who attended. About how it felt then and how their thoughts about the event go today, twenty years later.
The book is a sort of documentary. It contains nine stories, written in the first person. No analyzes and facts enumerations but stories of people with different perspectives in different ways were involved.
Among others tell the then Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson how he as leaders handled the unexpected disaster.
Journalists Karin Sword and Christina Jutterström are two other voices. Jutterström, which in 1994 was editor of the Daily News and later was included in the analysis group that was appointed by the government to examine the Swedish government’s work after the Estonia disaster.
Karin Sword lost his father in the accident and tells both of their grieving process and how she went on to make a documentary about the ferry disaster.
We also get to meet a rescue swimmer, a crewman from a rescue, survivor Sara Hedrenius and a priest, who took care of the bereaved after the disaster.
Moa Samuelsson says also its own history. She was 18 years old when the Estonia sank. She will never forget that moment in the early morning when she drowsily pick up the phone and hear a voice say, “Your mother has survived. She is in hospital in Mariehamn, but she’s alive.”
– The first time I concentrated me to help my younger siblings. In periods I have struggled with panic attacks but today I am a very fearless person.
Ripples is a collaboration between Moa Samuelsson and photographer Bobo Olsson. And the pictures will take great location.
– Above all it is a peppery spirit book on grief which shows that it is possible to proceed from the most gloom. There will a new light. I want it to feel bad to read this book and feel supported, Moa says Samuelsson.
Fact: Moa Samuelsson
Occupation: Journalist and author.
Lives: In Stockholm.
Family: daughters Cornelia age 17, some 15 years, and Betty 4 years.
Current: With the books ripple effect. Stories from the Estonia disaster and hey, Creative home.