Heli­copters res­cue Nor­way cruise ship pas­sen­gers amid storm

Sun.Star Pampanga - - WORLD! -

Hex­pe­ri­enced any­thing so scary,” Janet Ja­cob, among the first group of pas­sen­gers evac­u­ated to the nearby town of Molde, told NRK.

She said her he­li­copter ride to safety came amid strong winds “like a tor­nado,” prompt­ing her to pray “for the safety of all aboard.”

The ma­jor­ity of the cruise ship pas­sen­gers were re­port­edly British and Amer­i­can tourists. About 180 have been evac­u­ated so far, ac­cord­ing to res­cue of­fi­cials.

Per Fjeld of the Joint Res­cue Cen­ter South­ern Nor­way said there is no dan­ger to the re­main­ing pas­sen­gers and the air­lift can ac­com­mo­date all of them. He said the res­cue will speed up when there is bet­ter light and the weather im­proves.

Video and pho­tos from peo­ple on the ship showed it heav­ing, with chairs and other fur­ni­ture dan­ger­ously rolling from side to side. Pas­sen­gers were suited up in or­ange life vests but the waves broke some ship win­dows and cold wa­ter flowed over the feet of some pas­sen­gers.

Amer­i­can pas­sen­ger John Curry told NRK that he was hav­ing lunch as the cruise ship started to shake.

“It was just chaos. The he­li­copter ride from the ship to shore I would rather not think about. It wasn’t nice,” Curry told the broad­caster.

NRK said one 90-yearold-man and his 70-yearold spouse on the ship were se­verely in­jured but did not say how that hap­pened.

Later, re­ports emerged that a cargo ship with nine crew mem­bers was in trou­ble nearby, and the lo­cal Nor­we­gian res­cue ser­vice di­verted two of the five heli­copters work­ing on the cruise ship to that res­cue. Au­thor­i­ties told NRK that a strong storm with high waves was pre­vent­ing res­cue work­ers from us­ing life boats or tug boats to take pas­sen­gers ashore.

Fjeld said res­cuers were pri­or­i­tiz­ing the nine crew mem­bers aboard the Hagland Cap­tain cargo ship, but later said they had all been res­cued and the heli­copters had re­turned to help the Vik­ing Sky.

He said that with two more of the Vik­ing Sky’s en­gines now in op­er­a­tion there is the pos­si­bil­ity of sail­ing, though he would not say whether there is an in­ten­tion of sail­ing to shore.

Nor­we­gian au­thor­i­ties said late Sat­ur­day that the evac­u­a­tion of the Vik­ing Sky would pro­ceed all through the night into Sun­day.

The Vik­ing Sky was on a 12-day trip that be­gan March 14 in the western Nor­we­gian city of Bergen, ac­cord­ing to the cruisemap­per.com web­site.

The ship was vis­it­ing the Nor­we­gian towns and cities of Narvik, Alta, Tromso, Bodo and Sta­vanger be­fore its sched­uled ar­rival Tues­day in the British port of Til­bury on the River Thames.

The Vik­ing Sky, a ves­sel with gross ton­nage of 47,800, was de­liv­ered in 2017 to op­er­a­tor Vik­ing Ocean Cruises.

ELSINKI (AP) — Res­cue work­ers off Nor­way’s western coast rushed to evac­u­ate 1,300 pas­sen­gers and crew from a dis­abled cruise ship by he­li­copter on Sat­ur­day, winch­ing them one-by-one to safety as heav­ing waves tossed the ship from side to side and high winds bat­tered the op­er­a­tion.

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