Bad weather and another ship in distress hampered the evacuation of all the passengers on board the cruise ship ‘Viking Sky’.
The ship was hit by engine failure in stormy seas off the Norwegian coast in the bay of Hustadvika north of Molde, in an area known for its difficult, dangerous waters.
Despite several hours of rescue efforts, only around 160 passengers had been brought to safety by midnight, while around 1,100 people remained on board.
Eight passengers on the cruise ship suffered injuries and were among the first to be airlifted from the scene. Three of the injured were said to be in serious condition.
The vessel operated by Viking Ocean Cruises, and was on its way from Tromsø in Northern Norway to Stavanger on the West coast. It had been scheduled to arrive shortly past noon on Sunday.
Rescue efforts were further complicated when the cargo vessel ‘Hagland Captain’, with a crew of nine on board, also ran into trouble in the same stormy area, sending out distress signals.
The vessel also had dropped anchor and two helicopters were sent to assist.