More than 400 evacuated after Viking Cruises ship breaks down off Norway

Viking Sky (Photo: Laine)

A luxury cruise ship operated by Viking Cruises broke down in bad weather off the coast of Norway on Saturday, March 23, necessitating the evacuation of the people on board.

The crew of Viking Sky sent out a distress call soon after the ship began experiencing engine problems.

The ship completely lost engine power and ended up adrift and in danger of striking rocks in shallow waters but was able to anchor and turn away at the last minute.

Although having avoided the risk of grounding, Viking Sky then ended up getting tossed around in rough seas, causing injuries among the 1,373 passengers and crew.

Many of the passengers took to social media to post photos and videos of furniture, kitchen utensils, and other loose items being thrown about and parts of the ceiling falling to the floor as waves as high as eight metres and wind gusts of up to 38 knots rocked the ship every which way.

Norwegian rescue helicopters arrived on scene to evacuate those on board as the crew worked through the night to get the engines up and running again. It was decided to use only helicopters for the evacuation due to the rough seas in the area.

Rescue workers were able to evacuate 479 people by the morning of Sunday, March 24. Seventeen injured individuals have since been rushed to various hospitals in Norway.

The evacuation was stopped after the crew managed to restart three of Viking Sky’s four engines, thus allowing the ship to limp to port in Molde in western Norway with the remaining 894 people on board.

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