Cruise Ship Towed To Safety After Being Tossed Around By 8-Metre Waves

A luxury cruise liner has been successfully towed to safety after it was nearly dashed on the rocky coast of Norway by huge waves following an engine failure.

Footage posted to social media showed the Viking Sky being thrown around wildly in the intense storm waves off the Norwegian coast, with chairs and other fixtures sliding around the ship as it pitched and rolled. Parts of the ship’s ceiling collapsed during the event.

[jwplayer yKnCNlCM]

About 900 passengers were still aboard the Viking Sky when it was towed successfully into port. Earlier, five helicopters successfully airlifted 479 people to safety.

Waves up to eight metres high were striking the ship, making rescue efforts by boat essentially impossible. The area of the North Sea the ship was in is known for its rough, frigid waters.

Police chief Hans Vik, who helped run the rescue operation, said it very nearly ended in disaster:

It was very nearly a disaster. The ship drifted to within 100 metres of running aground before they were able to restart one of the engines. If they had run aground we would have faced a major disaster.

Twenty people were treated for injuries including broken bones, cuts and bruises. Norwegian state broadcaster NRK reports that a 90-year-old-man and his 70-year-old spouse were severely injured, but no details are as yet available as to the nature of their injuries.

Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen praised the efforts of the rescuers and the vessel’s crew. He told Norway’s VG newspaper that the events were “some of the worst I have been involved in, but now it looks like it’s going well in the end and that we’ve been lucky”.