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Viking Sky is Evacuating 1,300 People Via Helicopter After Engine Problems



Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sky cruise ship began evacuating 1,300 passengers and crew after sending a mayday call off Norway’s western coast on Saturday.

The Viking Sky was on a 12-day trip that began on March 14 when the cruise ship experienced engine propulsion problems after a bad storm hit Norway’s coastal regions causing high winds and stormy seas.

The ship has anchored in Hustadsvika Bay so that the high-risk helicopter rescue evacuation can take place. High waves are preventing rescue workers from using life boats or other vessels to get passengers to shore.

The evacuation is likely to be slow and dangerous as passengers need to be hoisted from the cruise ship one-by-one to five available helicopters, according to Norwegian public broadcaster, NRK. By 6 p.m. local time, only 100 people had been rescued.

“It’s a demanding exercise, because they (passengers) have to hang in the air under a helicopter and there’s a very, very strong wind,” witness Odd Roar Lange told NRK at the site.

Evacuated passengers are being taken to a sports complex and accommodation is being made for them in local hotels, according to the BBC.

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