STAVANGER, Norway – More than 450 passengers were hauled off a cruise ship stranded off the Norwegian west coast in bad weather before being suspended on Sunday so that the ship could be towed to a nearby port. 19659002] Five helicopters flying in the dark have picked up the evacuated passengers in a laborious process that lasted all night. The rescue took place under difficult conditions, including wind gusts of up to 38 knots and waves over 8 meters.
Around 17 people were hospitalized with injuries, the police said.
Passenger Alexus Sheppard told The Associated Press in a Viking Sky message that people with injuries or disabilities were first cranked off the cruise ship. The atmosphere on board calmed down after the first dramatic hours of the rescue operation, Sheppard said.
"At first it was scary. And when the general alarm sounded, it became VERY real, "she wrote.
Photos posted on social media showed that the ship came from one side to the other, shattering furniture violently into the walls. [1
The Viking Sky carried 1,373 passengers and crew members when he was in The crew gave a Mayday call on Saturday afternoon
Police said the crew was worried that the ship was running aground, and it She managed to drop anchor in Hustadvika Bay for evacuation. The ship was 100 meters from prominent rocks under water and 900 meters from Shore.
The ship visited the Norwegian cities of Narvik, Alta, Tromso, Bodo and Stavanger before its scheduled arrival on Tuesday in the British port of Tilbury on the Thames. The passengers were mostly a mix of American, British, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian citizens.
The air lifts continued at a steady pace on Sunday morning as the ship was prepared to tow two tugs to the nearby town of Molde. According to Per Fjerd from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center.
The helicopters did not unload the ship when the ship was ready to land, and 463 passengers had been evacuated at the time, the Joint Rescue Center said. By Sunday morning, three of the ship's four engines were in operation, the center said.
The Viking Sky, a ship with a gross tonnage of 47,800, was delivered in 2017 to the operator Viking Ocean Cruises.