The Norwegian authorities are investigating why the cruise ship Viking Sky had sailed despite a weather warning, resulting in engine failure, Mayday call and evacuation from the air.
When Viking Cruises announced a cruise ship itinerary that would provide travelers with "the rare opportunity to explore the Norwegian winter in the north," it boasted "to be the first US cruise line to fly offers a complete length. " Journey at the polar circle in the winter season. "
The big attraction was what was going on in the sky, and in winter adventurous tourists travel to Norway to catch a glimpse of the northern lights, a magical natural light known as the Aurora Borealis.
But last week's passengers had experienced more than they had anticipated aboard a 12-day cruise on Viking Sky when the ship hit turbocharges in stormy seas, exhibited a May Day, evacuated about half of its passengers by helicopter, and finally limping into the nearby harbor of Molde, Norway, a crew member who spoke exclusively to USA TODAY and asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly described a frightening torture of broken glass, an airborne piano, and the human chain of the crew to distribute lifejackets, as the ship has described as dangerous.
Exclusive: Crew member reports what happened on the Viking Sky cruise ship
Last comment Experience raises the question of whether Viking was sufficiently prepared for unusual circumstances in the far north.
"The average ship will undergo dozens of announced and unannounced security inspections, covering hundreds of hours of work and covering thousands of specific requirements of the International Maritime Organization and Flag Nations around the world," said spokeswoman Sarah Kennedy for Cruise Lines International Association, it says in a statement sent to the US today.
Asked whether Viking Ocean Cruises has taken extra precautions to prepare for the winter weather ahead of the season, Viking spokesman Ian Jeffries told TODAY: "Viking Sky is a high-end ocean-going vessel It had two experienced Norwegian pilots on board to advise the captain. "
Norwegian authorities opened an investigation into the incident Monday
Viking Sky Cruise Timeline: A collapse of what we know
Will Viking continue winter travels in Norway?
The next scheduled voyage for the Viking Sky, a visit to Scandinavia and Germany expected to leave on Wednesday, has been canceled.
Viking Cruises was founded in 1997 as the Viking River Cruises, and the Oceans Division began operating on First Ship in 2015. The Viking Ocea The n-fleet consists of six identical ships, including one that will sail the Norway route in early 2020.
Last slideNext slide
There are many questions about engine failure
Viking raises the "Viking" Difference "on its website:" Ships are small, to bring the guests closer to their destination in the harbor and more nights with more time. "Viking Sky is a 730 foot ship with 930 guests, with the crew carrying the cruise ship carrying 1,373 people on its hapless journey."
But the size of the ship may be less important than ship operation and what's under the hood when it does for safety.
"Everyone wonders what happened. We do not have any answers, "says Driscoll about Viking Sky engine problems." When someone is evacuated, it is usually due to a fire or water that penetrates through a hole, and none of these factors were identifiable. "
Asked how the four Viking Sky's engines could run out at once, Jeffries, the Viking spokesman, said a probe is in progress. "This is currently being investigated by us and the relevant authorities, and it is too early to speculate."
One of the Norwegian pilots on the ship said the weather had been tightened on Tuesday when the engine problems occurred to the Associated Press. The ship was hit by gusts of wind up to 43 km / h and waves over 26 feet.
Inge Lockert told the Vesteraalen newspaper that "everything went as it should, until we got problems with the engine."
"It was a very big team effort," he told the news agency. "When we got the engine running again, it became clear to us that we would save ourselves."
The anonymous crew member says he believes the crew training could handle the emergency. "We were well prepared, we did not panic, we knew what we were doing," he says. "We trusted the company that we would be saved."
The passengers welcomed the efforts of the crew.
Contribution: Maria Puente and The Associated Press
Read or Share this story: https: // www. usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2019/03/26/was-viking-sky-cruise-ship-equipped-for-norway-winters/3274824002/