Norway airlifting 1,300 passengers off SOS cruise ship

The cruise ship had been en route from Tromso to Stavanger.

Published: 24th March 2019 11:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2019 11:46 AM   |  A+A-

This photo provided by Michal Stewart shows passengers on board the Viking Sky, waiting to be evacuated, off the coast of Norway on Saturday, March 23, 2019. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

OSLO: Emergency services said on Saturday they had begun airlifting 1,300 passengers from a cruise ship in trouble off the Norwegian coast.

The Viking Sky cruise ship sent an SOS message due to "engine problems in bad weather", southern Norway's rescue centre said on Twitter, while police reported the passengers would be evacuated by helicopter.

"The boat only has one working engine and the winds are rather strong. Therefore we would prefer to have the passengers on land rather than on board the ship," police chief Tor Andre Franck said.

By 4:30 pm (1430 GMT) 100 people had been evacuated, with four helicopters involved in the airlift.

This photo provided by Alexus Sheppard shows passengers on board the Viking Sky, waiting to be evacuated, off the coast of Norway on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
(Photo | AP)

"It will take time to evacuate everyone," Franck said. The incident occurred mid-afternoon two kilometres (1. 2 miles) off the More og Romsdal area of western Norway.

The cruise ship had been en route from Tromso to Stavanger.

"It is dangerous to encounter engine problems in these waters which hide numerous reefs," Franck added.

Coastguard and sea rescue boats had also been sent to the area and a reception centre set up on shore to accommodate the evacuees.

Another vessel had been despatched to try to tow the Viking Sky into port, possibly removing the need for the airlift.

"The boat is stable. It has dropped anchor and one of its engines is working," said a rescue centre spokesman, Borghild Eldoen.

"For the moment everything appears to be going well," added another spokesman, Einar Knutsen.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp