Cruise

Investigation launched into dramatic Viking Sky rescue

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

Norwegian authorities have launched an investigation into the dramatic rescue of a Viking Cruises ship that set sail despite storm warnings.

Luxury cruise ship Viking Sky has now docked safely in Molde, Norway following a rescue mission which saw 479 of the ships 1,373 passengers and crew, evacuated via helicopter after the ship experienced engine failure amid rough seas.

One person is in a critical condition and eight others have been hospitalised as a result, according to NBC News.

“The high risk which the ship, its passengers and crew were exposed to made us decide to investigate the incident,” Dag S. Liseth of Norway’s Accident Investigations Board told NBC.

Norwegian police have said there is no suspicion of criminal offence but they have opened an investigation into why the ship experienced engine problems none the less.

A Viking spokesperson told Travel Weekly the cruise line is launching its own investigation to establish “a complete and thorough understanding of what happened, and we welcome the investigations that have been launched, and will fully support them”.

“The past few days have been stressful and hectic for both guests and crew alike. I would like to personally apologize for what our guests experience,” Torstein Hagen, Viking Cruises founder said in a statement.

“I would also like to say how impressed and grateful I am for the efforts of the national rescue services, rescue personnel, local authorities and the people along the Møre coast, and thank them for the concern and generosity they have showed our guests.

“I would also like to express my thanks to the crew on board the Viking Sky for their efforts and dedication,”

Viking Sky was on a 12-day cruise along Norway’s coast when the storm hit, with mostly English speaking passengers from America, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Meanwhile, a series of Tweets have surfaced from a Californian woman onboard the ship who managed to live Tweet the whole ordeal.

While huge waves crashed into the ship and passengers waited to be airlifted, Alexus Sheppard managed to document all the dramatic updates.

“It was frightening at first. And when the general alarm sounded, it became very real,” she told the Associated Press. 

Sheppard wrapped up her live Tweets by thanking her followers for their love and support.

“Thank you EVERYONE for your love and support over these difficult two days. We’re now safely docked in Molda, Norway and have happily been fed and watered. It’s times like these that make us ALL stronger as caring human beings. It does indeed take a village.”

Sheppard was so undeterred by the drama unfolding around her that she even took time out to Tweet about an LGBT issue in Tennessee in between Tweets about the rescue.

Bless her multi-tasking heart indeed.

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