On March 23, 2019, the Viking Sky cruise ship had to evacuate passengers off the coast of Norway after it unexpectedly lost power in stormy waters. The cruise ship left from Tromso and was headed towards Stavanger when a powerful storm hit and caused the engine to fail.
This led to an emergency call for help by the vessel’s captain and a dramatic rescue operation that lasted several hours.
The ship had 1,373 passengers and crew members on board at the time of the incident. As waves of up to 10 meters (30 feet) battered the vessel, helicopters were sent to airlift passengers one by one as they were winched up from their lifeboats into the choppers. The Norwegian Coast Guard also dispatched two tugboats to assist with the evacuation.
The search-and-rescue mission was declared complete around 11 PM that evening and all 479 passengers who had been airlifted off the cruise ship were safely returned to land. Those who stayed on board endured a harrowing night but managed to arrive safely at Molde Harbor in Norway on Sunday morning.
Investigation into what happened
Following the incident, Viking Cruises launched an investigation into what exactly happened aboard its flagship vessel. According to reports, Viking Sky sent out a distress signal due to engine failure which caused it to drift towards rocks off Norway’s rocky coastline.
The cruise operator stated that its investigations revealed that two of the four engines had been damaged due to water infiltration, which is believed to have occurred when the ship encountered strong winds and high waves in severe weather conditions.
Viking Sky’s Future
In light of this incident, Viking Cruises has made safety improvements across its fleet which includes additional safety drills for crew members and more detailed weather forecasts for its ships. As for Viking Sky specifically – it is currently undergoing repairs at a dry dock facility in Germany where it will remain until further notice.
What happened to the Viking Sky Cruise Ship? On March 23rd 2019, it had unexpectedly lost power due to engine failure caused by water infiltration during a powerful storm off Norway’s coastline resulting in an emergency evacuation of 1,373 passengers and crew members.
Following investigations by Viking Cruises, safety improvements have been made across their fleet with additional drills for crew members and detailed weather forecasts for their ships.