Cruise ship Viking Sky was filmed being buffeted by terrifyingly high waves after it was caught in a storm off the coast of Norway. The Viking Cruises ship – which had 1,300 people on board, 200 of them British – suffered engine failure and had to be evacuated. The ship was reportedly minutes away from striking rocks. Hundreds of passengers and crew were airlifted to safety by helicopters, several of whom were injured. The vessel has since docked in the port of Molde.
We were airlifted onto the helicopter which was quite a frightening experience
Horrifying footage captured the alarmed passengers panicking as the ship’s ceiling began to collapse and furniture rocketed across the rooms as the ship was buffeted by waves in “brutal” conditions.
Frightened passengers filmed the inside of the ship as it was pounded by rough seas.
Videos show the ship listing heavily to one side, causing plants, tables, chairs and even a grand piano to slide across the ship floor at alarming speeds.
In one clip, ceiling panels fall from above around the passengers – leaving one woman clutching her head.
More than 1,000 passengers were evacuated by helicopter, reported Sky News.
Viking Cruises have said they believe 20 people were injured in the incident. They were all treated in hospital in Norway or have been discharged.
The sea conditions were so severe, lifeboats were forced to turn back yesterday.
According to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, the waves were 20-26ft high and the wind blew at 24m per second.
Approximately two hundred British cruise passengers were believed to have been on the Viking Sky.
A Viking Cruises spokeswoman told Express.co.uk: We can confirm that as of 10am (Norwegian time) today, 24 March 2019, the vessel, Viking Sky, is safely travelling to Molde under its own power.
“The ship is being accompanied by two offshore supply ships and one tug assist vessel. The evacuation of passengers has ended and there are currently 436 guests and 458 crew onboard.
“The 479 passengers who were airlifted from the vessel are currently on shore and arrangements have been made to fly them home, with the first passengers leaving today.
“Currently, we understand 20 people suffered injuries as a result of this incident, and they are all receiving care at the relevant medical centres in Norway, with some already having been discharged.
“Throughout all of this, our first priority was for the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew. We would like to thank the Norwegian Redningssentral and the Norwegian emergency services for their support and skill displayed in managing the situation in very challenging weather conditions. We would also like to thank the local residents who throughout the whole process have been extremely supportive and hospitable. We are in the process of updating the website with the latest information.”
Passenger Derek Browne told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan about being airlifted.
“We had a few people on stretchers, several with cuts, two with broken limbs, but fortunately we were alright. We were airlifted onto the helicopter which was quite a frightening experience.”
He added: “I’d never been in a helicopter before, there were a lot of high winds, hovering overhead and the winchman came down and we were then collected up and so I shut my eyes as we arrived into the helicopter and there were 15 of us for about a 20-minute ride.”
Janet Jacob, one of the first passengers rescued, told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK: “I was afraid. I’ve never experienced anything so scary.” Jacob compared the winds to “a tornado” and said she was praying “for the safety of all aboard.”
This ship has since arrived at land and docked. A Viking Cruises spokeswoman told Express.co.uk: “At 4.30pm (Norwegian time) March 24, the Viking Sky docked in the port of Molde. All passengers and crew are safe, and passengers will be flying home starting tonight.
“Throughout all of this, our first priority was for the safety and well-being of our passengers and our crew. We would like to thank the Norwegian Redningssentral and the Norwegian emergency services for their support and skill displayed in managing the situation in very challenging weather conditions. We would also like to thank the local residents who throughout the whole process have been extremely supportive and hospitable.
“The next sailing, Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal, which was scheduled to embark on March 27th has been cancelled, and guests and their travel agents have been contacted directly. We do not anticipate any additional cancellations at this time.”
Source: Read Full Article