‘We feared the ship would capsize’: Witnesses recall ‘horrific’ hours aboard Norwegian cruise liner
The storm that started on Friday caught the ship off Norway’s coast and as it intensified on Saturday the engines broke down, two American couples, Leslie and Gary Collins, and Karen and Dennis Ferra, recalled. They were among the first passengers evacuated, but over 900 people remained on board until much later. “We feared more that the ship would capsize,” one passenger told local media.
Videos posted online by other passengers show chairs, tables and other objects, including a piano and a planter, slide back and forth across the floor as high waves tossed the ship from side to side.
“The last few hours on board the ship were some of the most terrifying [moments] we have ever experienced,” said the Americans, who have over 30 cruises behind them.
In the meantime, the holidaymakers gave credit to the crew saying that there was no panic on board as the alarm went off. The captain promptly informed people about the engine problem and ordered them to prepare for getting on the lifeboats, witnesses said. The rescue team, however, opted to use helicopters as gusty winds and huge waves made it impossible to approach the vessel by sea.Also on rt.com Cruise ship in distress for over 18 hours off Norway’s coast, 900 still waiting to be evacuated
The tourists were caught off-guard as they were invited to the deck to board a helicopter. “One from the crew just came over to us and said: ‘Join me’,” they remembered, adding that the 30-meter high climb up to the helicopter was something they would not forget soon.
“We had booked a new cruise in September, but I think we would cancel it,” the travelers said.
The liner, which was traveling from Bergen to London, had 1,373 people on board – 915 of whom were passengers from the UK and US. 479 people were evacuated via helicopters before the crew managed to restart the engines. Tugboats later hauled the ship to the nearby port of Molde.
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