Cruise Ship Near Norway With Nearly 1,400 Passengers Is Being Evacuated


A cruise ship with practically 1,400 passengers and crew members misplaced engine energy in heavy winds and waves close to the coast of Norway on Saturday, injuring a number of individuals and prompting a painstaking, hourslong evacuation, the authorities mentioned.

The evacuation of the ship, the Viking Sky, started round 2 p.m. native time and stretched into the darkness previous midnight, at which level solely 180 of the 1,373 individuals on board had been eliminated, mentioned Per Fjeld, a spokesman for Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Southern Norway, which was conducting the operation.

When helicopters reached the ship, rescue personnel had been lowered to take away passengers by winch separately. Filled with 10 to 15 individuals, the helicopters then returned to land.

A spokesman for Viking described the injuries as not life-threatening but did not answer questions seeking more information. The spokesman said the Sky was not sinking, despite photos and videos showing water on the ship.

“The people on board the ship are safe, though it’s not a pleasant cruise for them any longer,” Mr. Fjeld said. “Those who are on the ship, there’s no real hurry. They are not in any danger or anything like that.”

The crew on the 47,800-ton ship, which was traveling from Tromso to Stavanger in Norway, sounded a mayday around 2 p.m. local time near the city of Molde. Mr. Fjeld said that at that time, only one of the ship’s four engines was working.

It was not immediately clear what caused the cruise ship to lose power. Local police said the crew feared that the ship could run aground, according to The Associated Press, but Mr. Fjeld said that as of Saturday evening, that was no longer a danger.

“That was a situation that was rather critical from the start, but it managed to move away from the dangerous part of the coast,” he said.

The Viking spokesman said the Viking Sky was “proceeding on its own power.” Mr. Fjeld said that three of the ship’s four engines were working and that the ship was moving slowly south.

People who had been flown off the ship were being put up in hotels, and Viking would arrange return flights for all guests, the spokesman said.

“We are working closely with the relevant authorities and all operational procedures were followed in line with international regulations,” the spokesman said. “In addition, Viking has dispatched an operational task force, including the company’s owner, to Molde.”

Mr. Fjeld said the heavy winds and poor weather also led a cargo ship to sound a mayday, and rescuers had to pluck nine people from that ship on Saturday.



Source link Nytimes.com

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