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Estonia: Divers To Search For Body of Ferry Captain

Stockholm, Sweden; 10 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- A lawyer representing a support group for family members and survivors of the 1994 Estonia ferry disaster said today divers will search for the missing captain's body in an attempt to discover where he was at the time of the accident.

Henning Witte said a German diving company has been asked to search for Captain Arvo Andresson's body.

Andresson's location at the time of the accident is important because some survivors have claimed that he was not on the bridge at the time of the disaster and may have even abandoned ship early on.

According to sea law, the captain may not leave a sinking ship before the last person has been safely evacuated.

The Estonia sank on September 28, 1994, killing 852 people. Only 95 bodies have been recovered and identified. There were 137 survivors.

Sweden, Finland and Estonia have banned all diving near the wreck, which lies in international waters. It has also been declared a burial site by most countries bordering the Baltic Sea.