Cruise ship evacuating 1,300 passengers off Norway

Posted at 3:48 PM, Mar 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 09:58:19-04
Viking Sky cruise
About 1,300 passengers and crew are being evacuated Saturday from a cruise ship off Norway, Norwegian emergency services said. (photo credit: Frank Einar Vatne/NTB Scanpix/AP)

(CNN) — About 1,300 passengers and crew members are being evacuated Saturday from a cruise ship off Norway, Norwegian emergency services said.

The Viking Sky cruise ship sent a distress signal due to “engine problems in bad weather,” Borghild Eldoen, a spokeswoman for the Joint Rescue Centre for Southern Norway, told CNN.

About 115 people had been airlifted Saturday and rescue operations will continue through the night and Sunday, Eldoen said.

Eight people were brought ashore with “minor injuries,” she said.

It’s unclear whether any passengers still on the ship have been hurt.

The ship, in rough seas in the Hustadvika area on the western coast of Norway, is working to get more than one engine running, the rescue center said on Twitter.

Rescuers are trying to ensure the ship remains secure and doesn’t drift as they attempt to get the engines “working again so the ship can go by its own machine to a safe harbor.”

The ship is currently secured with one anchor.

As five helicopters and a number of vessels attempted to evacuate the passengers, a nearby freight vessel lost engine power forcing authorities to divert some resources to help that ship’s crew, rescue center officials said.

The evacuation of the cruise ship would be delayed, officials said, and those still on board are considered safe.

The Viking Sky ship, owned by Viking Ocean Cruises, was built in 2017 and can hold 930 guests, according to the company’s website.

The vessel was on its way to Stavanger from Tromso, according to the website Marine Traffic.

-Zahra Ullah and Theresa Waldrop reporting for CNN

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