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1300 on cruise ship stranded in storm off Norway rescued by copters

March 25, 2019

OSLO: How a cruise ship off Norway with 1300 passengers caught in an unexpected gust of storm last week was evacuated is a harrowing story. Even as it was violently tilting back and forth leading to great panic and chaos, Norway Viking Sky got stranded as two of its three engines also stopped working.

Helicopters were pressed into rescue operation. A spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Centre for Southern Norway said, the Viking Sky ship sent a distress signal Saturday due to "engine problems in bad weather." "The vessel is in rough seas in the Hustadvika area on the western coast of Norway and rescuers are facing waves of about 6-8 meters (roughly 19 -26 feet) high," she said.

Passengers had to be hoisted up one by one. The process of airlifting continued through Saturday night. Several of them were injured in the violent rocking of the vessel in high waves.

Passenger Alexus Sheppard from northern California told CNN she had been waiting almost six hours to be evacuated. Most people were fairly calm, she said, and they were being served food and water.

Five helicopters and a number of vessels were sent to evacuate the passengers but unfortunately one another vessel, freight vessel, lost engine power in the vicinity and some of the rescuers had to rush over there.

The Viking Sky cruise ship was able to regain control of its engine and reach the Norway port of Molde on Sunday.

The Viking Sky, owned by Viking Ocean Cruises, was built in 2017 and can carry 930 guests.

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