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400 evacuated from cruiser off Norway

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By IANS Updated: Mar 24, 2019 11:18 pm
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Passengers rescued from the Viking Sky cruise ship are helped from a helicopter in Hustadvika, Norway, Saturday March 23, 2019. A cruise ship with engine problems sent a mayday call off Norway’s western coast on Saturday, then began evacuating its 1,300 passengers and crew amid stormy seas and heavy winds in a high-risk helicopter rescue operation. AP/PTI

Copenhagen, March 24 (IANS): As many as 400 of the 1,373 people have been airlifted to the shore from a cruise ship that suffered engine failure off the coast of Norway, officials said on Sunday.

The Viking Sky ship sent out a mayday message on Saturday afternoon when it lost power off the midwestern coast of the Scandinavian country and was caught in waves rising up to eight meters (26 feet), said Norwegian rescue services, reported Efe news.

The ship started making its way to shore after three of its four engines were restarted on Sunday, officials said. “Three of the four engines are now working, which means the boat can now make its way to the shore on its own,” said the spokesman for Joint Rescue Centre of Southern Norway.

The spokesman said a tugboat would guide the cruise ship towards the nearby port of Molde, where reception centres have been set up to offer support and first-aid to passengers. Evacuations by helicopter would continue, he added.

Videos shared online by passengers from the ship showed objects and pieces of furniture sliding across the floor as the vessel tilted from side to side.

Of the 1,373 people aboard the ship, 915 are passengers, mainly from the US and the UK, and 458 crew.

The vessel sailed on March 14 from the western Norwegian city of Bergen for a 12-day cruise to the British port of Tilbury.

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By IANS Updated: Mar 24, 2019 11:18:49 pm