Viking Cruises ship docks safely in Norway after major rescue efforts
iStock(MOLDE, Norway) — After an engine failure and major evacuation efforts, the Viking Sky cruise ship safely docked in the port of Molde, Norway, on Sunday, bringing a high-seas nightmare to an end.
A mayday signal was received from the ship on Saturday at around 2 p.m. local time, according to a Viking Cruises spokesman, sparking major helicopter rescue efforts that brought hundreds to safety.
After helicopter rescues on Saturday, Viking said 436 guests and 458 crew members remained on board. The vessel regained power on Sunday morning, and Viking Cruises tweeted that the ship was headed to the nearby port.
“#VikingSky is expected to dock In Molde at 1630. All day emergency states and volunteers have prepared reception. #PolitietMøreRomsdal Molde asks that people who are not in the rescue work keep themselves away from the center for the next few hours and respect traffic control.”
On Saturday, four rescue helicopters airlifted hundreds of people off the ship.
“Our first priority was for the safety and well-being of our passengers and our crew, and in close cooperation with the Norwegian Coast Guard, the captain decided to evacuate all guests from the vessel by helicopter,” the Viking Cruises spokesman said in a statement.
Harrowing video was posted on social media on Saturday by a passenger, showing the ship tilting back and forth, sending furniture sliding across the room.
Danny and Judith Bates were among the passengers rescued by air.
“Very frightening. We went up on a helicopter with a sling — the two of us together — and it was quite scary,” Danny Bates told Eurovision.
“I felt surely, they have everything under control, it’s all going to be OK. So we just take this as an unexpected adventure,” Judith Bates said.
The prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, tweeted on Saturday, thanking the rescuers.
“It has been a dramatic day for passengers and rescue personnel at #VikingSky in #Hustadvika,” she wrote. “Thanks to talented rescuers, volunteers and others who have made an invaluable effort in demanding conditions.”
The ship was built in 2017, according to the company’s website.
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