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Norwegian authorities are investigating why the Viking Sky cruise ship is in a weather warning, leading to engine failure, a mayday call and air evacuation.
     USA TODAY

It's supposed to be a magical Northern Lights off Norway. Instead, it sailed into a cruise nightmare.

Dead engines. Beached in frigid, rough seas, beset by a howling storm. In peril of foundering on offshore rocks.

According to one of the crew members of the Viking Sky cruise ship, one of the newest ships of the Vaunted luxury line, Viking Ocean Cruises, the last 48 hours on board is not soon to be forgotten by any of the 1,373 passengers and crew.

"Everything was broken: plates, glasses, furniture," the crew member said, describing scenes in the ship's restaurants and lounges. He said he saw a heavy grand piano go upside down inside a lounge.

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The front of the ship was the most imbalanced, he said, and what most affected by the waves. "You can not even stand up," he said.

"It was a nightmare," he said. People are shocked, people are shocked, people are shocked, people are shocked, they can not believe they are survived. "

TODAY by Phone from Molde, the port in western Norway Where the Viking Sky found safety

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Although he described the crew as well-trained for emergencies, he said he called his family at one point when the Wi-Fi was working "to say goodbye. "

To get to the life jackets, he said, crew members had to open the doors to open the doors and to open the doors of the ship. 19659005] "I can see the ocean, we're on the second floor, and the waves are looking up to the second floor, like 30 feet. We're at about 45 degrees. You can fall in if you miss a step.

He said the lifeboats were no use, apparently because of the lack of power meant they could not be moved, and the seas were too rough anyway.

After the order to evacuate came, rescuers worked all night 479 passengers (about half the total) to shore by a fleet of five helicopters flying in the dark, slowly winching people up one by one from the heaving ship as

Some of the crew are still in shock but most of us feel proud and good.

Damage on board the Viking Sky following an engine failure in Norway, March 23, 2019. (Photo : Viking Sky crew member)

The Associated Press.