A well-planned vacation turned into turmoil for people on a popular cruise ship. Officials say the Norway ship set sail carrying 1,300 passengers despite storm warnings.
The storm led to risky rescues in high winds and rough seas from the 750-foot-long cruise ship with mostly American and British passengers. The Viking Sky rocked by high waves after its engines failed and the captain declared mayday and passengers fearing for their lives.
Passenger Robyn Pierpoint said, “If we were going to go down together, we’re going together.” Husband Mike Pierpoint said, “I think the scary part was that you couldn’t see the helicopter. You could hear it, but you couldn’t see it.”
The rescue effort went on Saturday night into Sunday morning, lifting 479 passengers off the ship to helicopters that ferried them ashore.
After seas calmed, the crippled ship was towed into port in Norway with the rest of its passengers and crew. Many passengers expressing gratitude for their treatment especially by their Norwegian rescuers and hosts.
The emergency at sea injured more than two dozen people, one critically. Now, Norwegian officials want to know why the luxury liner kept sailing despite a weather warning.
The Viking Sky was on a 12-day cruise along Norway’s coast before its scheduled arrival in the British Port of Tilbury