Viking Sky sailed despite storm warnings, initial probe reveals

Image: AFP/Svein Ove Ekornesvaag
Image: AFP/Svein Ove Ekornesvaag

Norwegian police officials and the Accident Investigations Board Norway (AIBN) have launched separate probes into why the cruise ship Viking Sky headed out to sea even after storm warnings were issued.

The vessel ended up suffering complete engine failure in rough seas off the Norwegian coast on March 23, necessitating the nighttime rescue of some of its passengers by helicopter. Partial engine power was not restored until the following morning, after which the ship sailed into port in Molde.

Dag Sverre Liseth, director of the marine department at AIBN, has said that his agency launched its own investigation into the incident upon learning that the passengers and the vessel itself had been exposed to unnecessary risk by the decision to sail despite the imminent danger.

Viking Sky’s captain reportedly decided to put to sea even though he was fully aware that the master of another vessel had opted not to sail through the area that same morning.

The ship’s passengers have since been accusing operator Viking Cruises of “recklessly” ignoring forecasts of bad weather.

Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen has denied that “financial considerations” were behind the decision to have the ship sail despite the warnings.


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