[Updated] Watch: Viking Sky Sends Mayday, Passengers Evacuated
The cruise ship Viking Sky sent a mayday on Saturday, sparking a mass evacuation of the vessel off the Norwegian coast.
Due to the high seas, lifeboats were not launched, and local authorities evacuated 479 people by helicopter. Waves were six to eight meters high, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
436 passengers and 458 crew members remained on board when VikingSky was taken under tow at a speed of about seven knots. She was taken to quieter waters about 60 kilometers away and is now docked at Molde.
The vessel reported engine problems in the mayday call and was adrift. She got to around 100 meters from shallow water near shore before the crew were able to restart at least one of the engines and move her further from the coast.
The evacuation involved helicopters taking around 10 people to shore at at time, each winched individually from the vessel. 20 people are reported injured and have been taken to hospital.
Five helicopters were involved in the rescue effort. Two helicopters also helped the general cargo ship, the Hagland Captain, after her crew also sent a mayday after experiencing engine problems. The crew were evacuated.
Video footage below (and top) courtesy of CHC Helicopters.