Cruise Ship off Norway Issues Mayday, Begins Evacuations

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
March 23, 2019 Updated: March 23, 2019

HELSINKI — Police say a cruise ship with engine problems has sent a mayday call off Norway’s western coast and is making plans to evacuate its 1,300 passengers and crew.

Norwegian newspaper VG said the Viking Sky cruise ship ran into propulsion problems as strong winds and heavy seas hit Norway’s coastal regions on Saturday, March 23.

Police in the western county of Moere og Romsdal said Saturday the ship has managed to moor in Hustadsvika Bay, between the western Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim.

Norway Cruise Ship Mayday
Passengers rescued from the Viking Sky cruise ship are helped from a helicopter in Hustadvika, Norway, on March 23, 2019. (Odd Roar Lange/NTB Scanpix via AP)

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats have been sent to help and evacuate the vessel, a process expected to take several hours.

Authorities kicked off the evacuation on Saturday afternoon.

The evacuation process expected to take several hours.

Norway Viking Sky cruise rescue
In this image taken from video made available by CHC helicopters, helicopters fly over the cruise ship Viking Sky after it sent out a Mayday signal because of engine failure in windy conditions off the west coast of Norway, on March 23, 2019. (CHC helicopters via AP)

Norwegian officials said that rescue workers have managed to evacuate about 100 people so far from the cruise ship.

Five people have reportedly been taken to the hospital, but no one was seriously injured, TMZ reported.

The Viking Sky was delivered in 2017 to operator Viking Ocean Cruises.