Viking Sky cruise ship safely arrives at Norwegian port after engine disaster
The Viking Sky was towed to safety by two tugboats, with one sailing in front of the vessel and the other behind it.
The luxury cruise ship, which set sail with almost 1,400 passengers and crew aboard, sent out an SOS signal on Saturday. It was drifting in rough waters near a rocky coast after all its engines stopped working.
At one point, it approached land at a distance of just 100 meters, with passengers posting dramatic photos. But the crew was eventually able to start one of the engines and avoided crashing.
“If they had run aground we would have faced a major disaster,” Hans Vik, the head of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, told TV2.
Rescue services airlifted 479 passengers onto a helicopter before the weather improved and the Viking Sky could be towed.
Twenty people required hospitalization as a result, the vessel’s operators said. The passengers were mainly elderly citizens from the US and Britain.
People on board shared ‘Titanic’-style videos and photos with panels falling from the ceiling and furniture, including tables, chairs, and even a piano, sliding back and forth.
The passengers said they were terrified the ship would capsize as it helplessly drifted in waves of up to eight meters.Also on rt.com ‘We feared the ship would capsize’: Witnesses recall ‘horrific’ hours aboard Norwegian cruise liner
“We were having lunch when it began to shake. Window panes were broken and water came in. It was just chaos,” an American passenger said in an interview with NRK.
“The last few hours on board the ship were some of the most terrifying [moments] we have ever experienced,” another passenger added.
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