According to Langewiesche, what can we really trust about our understanding of the sinking of the Estonia? And, after reading both Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of The Outlaw Sea, what does Langewiesche want us to gain from our exposure to all the facets of the Estonia’s sinking and investigations? According to The Outlaw Sea, what can we know about what really happened to the Estonia? More importantly, what are the multiple factors that contributed to the confusions over what really happened to the Estonia? Pay attention to the direct and indirect causes of our lack of full knowledge according to Langewiesche. And, more importantly, what is Langewiesche attempting to do for us by educating us so thoroughly on this complex and sometimes confusing material?
The Sinking of MS EstoniaOver time, human beings have been haunted by maritime disasters since they first learned how objects can be arranged in a way that allows people to float atop the water bodies. A good number of adverse disasters that occurred during the Twentieth Century were perpetrated by the wartimes as a consequence of military action. Nevertheless, it is not easy to explain all the shipwrecks. On September 28th, 1994, MS Estonia- a passenger ferry- sank in the Baltic Sea on its way from Tallinn in Estonia to Stockholm in Sweden. Approximately 852 lives were lost in the sea that very day and almost half of the bodies were totally unrecovered. This was a terrible tragedy of the time. This paper proceeds to dissect the deeper meaning and untold truth about the sinking of MS Estonia, with critical guidance from Langiwiesche’s The Outlaw Sea .
According to Langewiesche, the massive loss of human life was one thing, and the failure of the ship was another. The Estonia ship took relatively 30 minutes to 40 minutes to sink, although researchers and investigators still believe that this was an adequate time to save the entire group on board using lifeboats. Therefore, it was revealed that Estonia was not built according to the International Maritime Organization standards, which emphasizes on the safety idea that all passenger vessels should be designed with ready access to both open decks and lifeboats in case of an emergency. As MS Estonia tilted, there were no easily accessible escape routes, which proved fatal and hence, out of the 989 people on board, only about 137 people were in a position to get off the ship before completely submerging.
In The Outlaw Sea, William Langewiesche provides a detailed analysis of the chaotic nature of the international shipping world. In spite of the several treaties and oversight by the powerful bodies such as the International Maritime Organization, the seas and oceans are still a lawless realm. More than 34,000 huge merchant vessels pursue the waters under limited or no apparent regulation. Deceptively, these merchant vessels are the most independent earthly objects, a good number of them lacking allegiances of any form, which frequently change their identity and assume whichever nationality, a concept that makes them ply on waters as they please.
Today, the seas and oceans are not as safe as they were several years ago because piracy is continually on rising in some sections like Southeast Asia, terrorism has grown into a significant concern, and the aging vessels progressively break apart during storms known to threaten human life, crews, as well as the natural environment. Policing the world’s oceans has been rendered impossible. No state owns the ships and the necessary manpower required to patrol beyond the horizon much adequately. Even though it might seem possible to patrol the waters, ships can hide easily in plain sight by switching the identity, color, names, and/or flags. From human exposure to all the facets of Estonia’s sinking and investigations, Langewiesche wants people to understand that the sinking was primarily perpetuated from neglect of law and regulation standards by mariners because vessels operate under no or limited legal restrictions.
After examining the efforts put forth by the United States and the European Union purposely to phase out the issue of single-hull tankers, Langewiesche highlights that adoption and enforcement of international maritime standards is impossible. In several cases, modifying the vessel’s design is important to facilitate mariner safety while preventing related environmental disasters like the issue of oil spills. For Langewiesche, the sea is a lawless yet frontier domain where moral considerations are trumped by brute economics. Ideally, the sinking of ferry Estonia in 1994 remains the centerpiece of his oceanic exploration, where several lives were lost. In his proposal, Langewiesche makes it clear that the forgotten corners of the ocean have been rendered way too dangerous to be neglected. For instance, Al Qaeda has set on operations to use freighters purposely to smuggle its people across the international borders.
The Outlaw Sea documents the letdowns of the international community to regulate shipping. With regards to the sinking of MS Estonia passenger ferry back in 1994, Langewiesche aligns the incident with stunning detail of a price that was to be paid, both in form of environmental damage and loss of human lives, after things went wrong. According to Langewiesche, terrorist organizations had the chance to finance their operations through the transportation of goods through vessels that were fully compliant with the set international regulations. The vessel broke apart and sink a few days after reputable inspectors passed the inspection. He links this ill-fated accident to vessels being hijacked by barefoot pirates.
This was a price being paid. Most importantly, he parades the multiple factors that contributed to the enormous confusions over what happened to Estonia. It was a scary glimpse of the international shipping anarchic world. Therefore, The Outlaw Sea confirms that sinking of the sea was out of regulatory neglect, and a chance for terrorists to perpetuate their crimes. In an era when government policies progressively cultivated the belief that extra regulations will render the world a safer place, Langewiesche pushes readers to accept the ideology that additional regulations will render the world a safer place to thrive. The world is an ocean world, which is wild. A lot of care is therefore necessary when undertaking any operations.
After official investigations were undertaken by both private sources and governments, the sinking of MS Estonia has been attributed to a number of theories. Langewiesche insists on the paradox that the sea has more than enough freedom, although it is still faced with hidden problems and crime. He publishes a novel with detailed descriptions which include all crimes, chaos, and mystery of the sea. The ideas are all attributed to the ill-fated ferry accident and insist that unless good care is taken, more problems are likely to occur. In his attempt to educate people thoroughly on this complex and sometimes confusing material, Langewische seeks to enlighten the regulatory bodies to more attention on practices undertaken on the oceans and ensure that all vessels comply with the international maritime regulations.
In conclusion, based on the arguments by Langewiesche, people have a deeper understanding of Estonia. Even after going through the various chapters of The Outlaw Sea , Langewiesche provides a deeper insight from human exposure to all the facets of Estonia’s sinking and investigations. The Outlaw Sea provides an insight into various themes of what actually happened to Estonia. Of importance, multiple factors of negligence contributed to the confusions over what really happened to Estonia. Paying adequate attention to the direct and indirect causes of our lack of full knowledge according to Langewiesche, people have thoroughly been educated on this complex and sometimes confusing material.