March 24 (UPI) — The Viking Sky cruise ship experienced engine problems off Norway’s west coast Saturday, forcing emergency crews to start evacuating some 1,300 passengers via helicopter.
The cruise ship sent a distress signal amid bad weather, CNN reported. Multiple rescue ships and four helicopters were dispatched to assist the rescue.
Passenger Alexus Sheppard told CNN she has been waiting nearly 6 hours to be evacuated from the ship.
“It’s still rocking and rolling here,” the Northern California woman said.
The cruise ship lost engine power and dropped anchor in storm conditions with strong wind and waves reaching 24 feet to 27 feet, Cruise Industry News reported. The ship was eventually able to restart one engine and drop anchor about 1.5 miles from land, Sky News reported.
Norway’s Red Cross sent volunteers to the coast near where the ship was being evacuated to assist the evacuees. Passengers were being transported to hotels nearby.
The Viking Sky, built in 2017, is owned by Viking Ocean Cruises, part of the Viking Cruises group.