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Norway cruise ship heads two ports after passenger airlifts



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Media caption Footage from board showing furniture crashing and sliding as the vessel tilted

A cruise ship that got into trouble off the Norwegian coast is heading to port after

The Viking Sky lost power on Saturday and sent out a distress signal after it started drifting towards land.

Rescuers airlifted almost 500 of the 1

,373 mostly elderly passengers from the ship in bad weather.

The vessel's engines have been restarted and it is heading towards the port of Molde.

Evacuations have been stopped for now but rescuers said they could summarize the captain's necessities.

How did the drama

The Viking Sky suffered engine failure on Saturday afternoon while en route to Stavanger from Tromso in a notoriously treacherous stretch of water.

  • Britons tell of 'frightening' rescue

Fis herman Jan Erik Fiskerstrand, whose boat was one of the first to come to help Viking Sky, told Aftenposten newspaper, "it was just minutes before this could have gone really wrong".

The ship could have hit the rocks "if they had not started the engine and fastened the anchor "he added.

Five helicopters and several rescue ships were called, but poor weather meant the lifeboats were forced to turn back.

The authorities decided to launch airlifts rather than leave people on board and hundreds were hoisted to safety.

Among those rescued 20 people suffered injuries. It is said to be British or US citizens.

Derek Browne, from southern England, who was traveling with his wife Esther told the BBC he had been "rolling and rolling" every night on Friday before losing engine power on Saturday.

George Davis, from Manchester, said he and his wife Barbara waited 10 hours to be rescued.

"It was a very scary event" , he added, adding: "Locals tell us they were amazed by the teeth of a storm they knew was coming." Media playback was unsupported on your device

Media caption British passenger Derek Browne : 'We were told Mayday Mayday!' Passengers wearing life jackets are waiting to be rescued.

The former South African cricketer Graeme Smith said his parents had been among those airlifted to safety

One of those still on board, Lara from Birmingham in the UK, said "the crew were magnificent and have kept the remaining passengers safe and warm.

The Viking Sky is a Viking Ocean Cruises ship, which had its maiden voyage in 2017.

The company said "all of this, our first priority was for the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew".


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