Viking Sky cruise ship safely towed to Norwegian port, 643 passengers rescued, 20 hospitalized
A luxury Viking Sun cruise ship that was left floating due to engine failure and nearly crashed into the rocks in rough waters has safely arrived in the port of Molde on the west coast on Norway, with over 900 people on board.
The Viking Sky was towed to safety by two tugs, with one sailing in front of the vessel and another 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 some point, it approached the land at the distance of just 100 meters, with passengers posting dramatic photos. But the crew was eventually able to start one of the engines and avoid the crash.
“If they had run aground we would have faced a major disaster,” Hans Vik, the heads of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, told TV2.
Rescue services airlifted 479 passengers on to a helicopter before the weather improved and Viking Sky could be towed.
Twenty people required hospitalization as result of the order, the vessels operations said. The passengers were mainly elderly citizens from the US and Britain.