Evacuation of passengers and crew is underway, after the cruise ship Viking Sky experienced engine failure today, March 23, 2019. Some 1300 passengers and crew are to be evacuated, by helicopters and if possible, by SAR boats in heavy storm conditions.
The vessel is currently one kilometer off the coast of Farstad, Norway. According to the local media, this is one of the worst places to have problems due to strong wind, waves and hundreds of reefs. Viking Sky dropped an anchor and issued distress signal, requesting immediate assistance by the Norwegian Coast Guard.
A crew member who has a friend working onboard Viking Sky has contacted Crew Center saying “They’re abandoning the ship near Stavanger, Norway due to engines failure.
My friend messaged me saying the ship was going through a bad weather condition near Molde (Norway) and they lost 2 engines of which one could be repaired but still, the captain gave the abandon ship order and they’re evacuating passengers at the moment…My friend just told me everyone is a bit scared but the evacuation seems to be going calm and organized.”
The crew member has also sent us a photo taken a couple of minutes ago onboard Viking Sky. As you can see some of the crew are waiting with their life jackets on, at the guests stairwells as the evacuation is underway.
cruise ship crew members with life jackets Viking Sky
Helicopters and vessels are heading aid and facilities to receive passengers are being prepared on land. According to the Norwegian News Media VG, the situation is still dramatic, and so far 100 people have been evacuated. There are now two helicopters working on the evacuation.