‘We feared the ship would capsize’: Witnesses recall ‘horrific’ hours aboard Norwegian cruise liner
Rescued passengers are describing horror filled hours on board the Viking Sky Cruise liner stranded in turbulent Norwegian sea waters. Videos from the ship show objects flying as waves crash against the vessel.
The storm that started on Friday caught the ship off Norway’s coast and as it intensified on Saturday the engines broke down, American couples, Leslie and Gary Collins, and Karen and Dennis Ferra, recalled. They were among the first passengers evacuated, but over 900 people still remain on board. “We feared more that the ship would capsize,” the passengers told local media.
Videos posted online by other passengers show chairs, tables and other objects including a piano and a planter slide back and forth across the floor as high waves toss the ship from side to side.
“The last few hours on board the ship were some of the most terrifying [moments] we have ever experienced,” said the Americans, who have over 30 cruises behind them.
In the meantime, the holiday-makers gave a credit to the crew saying that there was no panic on board as the alarm went off. The captain promptly informed people about the engine problem and ordered to prepare for getting on the lifeboats, witnesses said. The rescue team, however, opted to use helicopters as gusty winds and huge waves made it impossible to approach the vessel by sea.
The tourists were caught off guard as they were invited to the deck to board a helicopter. “One from the crew just came over to us and said: ‘Join me’,” they remembered adding that the 30-meter high climb up to the helicopter was something they would not forget soon.
“We had booked a new cruise in September, but I think we would cancel it,” the travelers said.
The liner, which was traveling from Bergen to London, carried 1,373 people on board – 915 of which were passengers from the UK and US. 479 people were evacuated via helicopters before the crew managed to restart the engines. Tugboats are currently hauling the ship to the nearest port of Molde.
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