A terrifying situation on the high seas in Norway. A cruise ship’s suffered engine trouble near Norway’s western coast in rough seas that reportedly included waves over 26 feet high.
The Viking Sky lost power on Saturday and sent out a distress signal after it began drifting towards land.
Rescuers airlifted almost 500 of the 1,373 mostly elderly passengers from the ship in bad weather.
The vessel’s engines have been restarted and it is heading towards the port of Molde.
An American passenger, Rodney Horgen of Minnesota, was visiting Norway as a dream pilgrimage to his ancestral homeland when the trip quickly turned into a nightmare.
Horgen, 62, said he knew something was badly amiss when the guests on the tossing cruise liner were all brought to the ship’s muster point. He felt sure the end had come when a huge wave crashed through glass doors and swept his wife, Judie Lemieux, 30 feet across the floor.
“When the windows and door flew open and the 2 meters of water swept people and tables 20 to 30 feet, that was the breaker. I said to myself, ‘This is it,’” Horgen recalled. “I grabbed my wife but I couldn’t hold on. And she was thrown across the room. And then she got thrown back again by the wave coming back.
Viking Cruises released a statement saying:
The 479 passengers who were airlifted from the vessel are currently on shore and arrangements have been made to fly them home, with the first passengers leaving today. Currently we understand 20 people suffered injuries as a result of this incident, and they are all receiving care at the relevant medical centres in Norway, with some already having been discharged.
Throughout all of this, our first priority was for the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew.
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