A cruise liner that ran into trouble in stormy seas off Norway reached port under its own steam on Sunday after hundreds of passengers were winched to safety by helicopter in a spectacular rescue operation.
Escorted by tugboats, the Viking Sky arrived at the port of Molde at about 4:15pm, TV images showed.
Nearly one-third of its 1,373 passengers and crew had already been airlifted off the ship.
The cruise liner lost power and started drifting on Saturday afternoon 2km off a stretch of Norwegian coastline notorious for shipwrecks.
The captain sent out a Mayday, prompting authorities to launch the airlift in difficult conditions rather than run the risk of leaving people on board.
About 460 of the 1,373 people on the ship had been taken off by five helicopters before the airlift was halted.
Police said 17 people had been taken to hospital. One person more than 90 years old and two 70-year-olds suffered serious fractures.
With three of four engines restarted on Sunday, two tugs towed the vessel away from dangerous reefs before it set sail for Molde, 500km northwest of Oslo, under its own power.
Dramatic footage of the passengers’ ordeal showed furniture and plants sliding around the lurching vessel as parts of the ceiling came down.
Passenger Rodney Horgan said he had been reminded of the **Titanic.
“The best word, I guess, is surreal,” he said.
“Sea water six-seven feet [about 2m] high just came rushing in, hit the tables, chairs, broken glass and 20-30 people just ... went right in front of me,” Horgan said.
“I was standing, my wife was sitting in front of me and all of a sudden, she was gone. And I thought this was the end,” he said.
However, it all ended well for Ryan Flynn.
“Here’s my 83-year-old dad being airlifted from the #vikingsky,” he said. “We are all off the ship safely!”
A reception center was set up in a gym on shore for the evacuees, many of whom were elderly and from the US and the UK.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete