The Viking Sky cruise ship lost power as it sailed toward Stavanger, Norway in heavy seas and wind today. The cruise ship issued a mayday call and many passengers were evacuated from the cruise ship via helicopter as the ship rocked back and forth in stormy weather.
Passengers were reportedly being hoisted one-by-one by rescue helicopters from the stranded cruise ship as strong winds pushed the ship toward the Hustadvika coast of Norway, which is considered one of the most dangerous parts of the Norwegian coast, with many ships wrecking in this area during rough weather.
Around 1,300 passengers and crew were originally on the ship, according to Reuters.
— Alexus Sheppard 🏳️🌈 (@alexus309) March 23, 2019
According to Buzzfeed, the ship had restarted one of its engines, while Reuters reported that it was able to anchor about 2 kilometers from the coast. Some news sources suggest that the ship was finally able to start several engines. The Telegraph reported that the ship eventually managed to drop anchor in Hustadsvika Bay, between the western Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim.
Loss of power at sea on cruise ships is an issue we cover on a regular basis.
In 2016, there were at least 18 power losses, either complete or partial, of cruise ships operated by the major U.S.-based lines, including problems with the Carnival Elation, Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Vista as well as the Carnival owned Adonia, Caribbean Princess, Emerald Princess, and Costa neoRiviera, as well as Celebrity’s Summit and Constellation, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, Silversea Cruises’s Silver Cloud, NCL’s Norwegian Star and Norwegian Gem, Oceania Cruises’ Regatta and P&O’s Oriana.
— L'important (@Limportant_fr) March 23, 2019
The Viking Sea experienced engine problems in December of 2016 which kept it stuck in Barcelona.
In August of 2016, the Viking Sea temporarily lost power in Malta.
In August of 2015, the Viking Star lost power in an engine after leaving Tallinn and resulted in the cancellation of the cruise.
Fortunately, most power failures occur in the Caribbean during calm weather. Losing power in rough weather like this current situation is potentially a disastrous situation. It is virtually impossible to safely evacuate over a thousand passengers via lifeboats during a storm in these type of wind and wave conditions.
Cre members tried to ready the lifeboats to evacuate the passengers but waves crashed into the boats and the crew had to abandon their efforts.
@, the official account of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre of Southern Norway, states that there are tugs and offshore supply vessels standing by to try and assist the Viking Sky. The cruise ship is likely to be towed, if it is still unable to get proceed under its own power.
By all accounts, the crew members working aboard the cruise ship performed exemplary during this crisis; the crew efficiently assisted the passengers in being airlifted from the stricken ship.
Photographs from the ship are posted on our Cruise Law News Facebook page. They demonstrate the extensive damage on the ship caused by being rocked by the high winds and waves caused by the storm.
The Viking Sky left Bergen, Norway on March 14th calling on ports in Norway. It was scheduled to end its current cruise in London on March 26th.
Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Photographs – Facebook page – Working Pinoy: Cruise Ship.