Passengers onboard a Viking Sky cruise ship are being lifted one-by-one by helicopters after the ship’s engines failed on Saturday during stormy weather off the west coast of Norway. The crew was able to restart one engine and deploy the anchor, preventing it from drifting toward land.
According to Reuters, 1,300 passengers and crew are on board and, as of 5:50 p.m. (GMT) 87 people have been removed after the ship issued a mayday call. Passengers are being airlifted to a village north of the town of Molde on Norway’s west coast. Spokeswoman Borghild Eldøen told the outlet that the rescue will continue for several hours into the night.
“If we need to evacuate everyone, it will take a long time,” rescue service spokesman Einar Knudsen told Reuters.
Reuters reports that waves reached heights of 8 meters or 26.2 feet, as the wind blew at 24 meters per second or 53.7 miles per hour. The storm is expected to continue until midnight.
A cruise ship has suffered engine failure in windy conditions off the west coast of Norway and will evacuate its 1,300 passengers.
The Viking Sky was drifting towards land and had sent out a mayday signal.
The ship belongs to Viking Ocean Cruises. pic.twitter.com/DtFbvGeV9X
— Emil Nivantha Perera (@emilnivantha) March 23, 2019
The Viking Sky, owned by Viking Ocean Cruises, was built in 2017. The company’s website reports that its passenger capacity is 930.
— To-Travel-Is-To-Live (@ToTravelIsToLi1) March 23, 2019
Four helicopters and a number of vessels are taking part in the rescue. Facilities to host the rescued passengers have been set up on land, as local search and rescue teams are mobilizing, including 60 volunteers from the Norwegian Red Cross.
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