Cruise ship rescue: Britons tell of ‘FRIGHTENING’ airlift from Viking Sky off Norway coast

March 24, 2019
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All 1,300 passengers, including 200 Britons, had to be evacuated after the huge ship broke down, but helicopters were only able to take 15 passengers at a time. The vessel sent out a mayday message and asked for assistance around 1pm GMT. Local police in Moere og Romsdal said the crew managed to anchor in Hustadvika Bay, amid fears the vessel would run aground.

Three people were reportedly in “critical condition” in hospital and at least another five were injured.

Astonishing footage appeared online showing the ship rocking and debris falling from the ceiling.

Derek and Esther Brown from Hampshire said the “whole boat was swaying, it was very rough”.

Mr Browne told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan: “We had a few people on stretchers, several with cuts, two with broken limbs, but fortunately we were alright.

“We were airlifted onto the helicopter which was quite a frightening experience.

“I’d never been in a helicopter before, there were a lot of high winds, hovering overhead and the winchmen came down and we were then collected up and so I shut up eyes as we arrived into the helicopter.

“And there were 15 of us for about a 20-minute ride.”

By 6pm local time (5pm GMT) around 100 people had been rescued from the ship.

Norwegian media reported the majority of the cruise ship passengers were British and American tourists.

The Viking Sky was due to arrive in Tilbury in Essex on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Viking Cruises said: “The ship is proceeding on its own power and a tugboat is on site. The evacuation i proceeding with all necessary caution.

“A small number of non-life-threatening injuries have been reported.

“Guests are being accommodated in local hotels when they arrive back on shore, and Viking will arrange for return flights for all guests.”



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