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Viking Ocean ship issues MAYDAY; airlifting pax off ship near Norway

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Posted (edited)

Yike... this is for real:

 

https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/23/cruise-ship-to-evacuate-its-1-300-passengers-after-sending-mayday-signal-off-the-coast-of

 

They are near Norwegian coast, lost power, drifting with reefs nearby.

Apparently one engine restarted.

Helo's are airlifting one passenger at a time.

 

😱  [How appropriate is the Scream for this!?]

 

GC

 

 

Edited by GeezerCouple

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Scary!  Scream seems entirely appropriate ...

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100 passengers brought to the shore so far. Pictures on www.nrk.no, norwegian news site. 

 

Update: One of the engines are now working again.

 

The video that was displayed when we saw it was really a bit terrifying.  VERY dark skies, rough seas, and it did appear the ship was out of control.  [Marine experts, kindly correct me if needed.]

Hopefully this was before they got one engine working again.

 

This might be the section of water where we experienced *very* rough seas almost exactly 1 year ago, during a truly fantastic Hurtigruten cruise.

We could not stand up; furniture was moving around.  (We had an aft suite, high on Deck 8, so no surprise we felt it!)

The Captain had predicted the severe seas and warned everyone.  We crawled to the bedroom, got in bed for safety, and stayed there til we woke up in the morning, and all was calm.

*IF* I had seen this beforehand, there's not a chance in the world I'd have been able to sleep!

 

Hope all continues to go as smoothly as possible with the rescue!

 

There are mixed reports now on Viking Ocean section of CC about current status.

I'm glad that we have another month-plus before we get on a ship again.

(OTOH, I was in a major train wreck the year before my first cruise.  Train derailed and overturned in a remote area.  It took me a few years to get on a train again.  And yet...  here I am, although that wasn't clear for a thankfully short time.)

 

I just hope everyone remains safe!

 

GC

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Wow..truly scary pics and videos.  Just had a story on CNN with an interview with Norway rescue spokeswoman.  She said they were doing parallel operations rescuing folks and trying to get engines working on ship. Among those rescued are people with non serious injuries like broken arm.  Hope all are safe!!

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In trying to find more information about this, I found an article about a 12 year old German boy who ran up a 13,000 EUR bill on his phone (watching videos while his parents weren't watching) on a SHORT cruise.  Good thing it wasn't a long one ...

 

The bill came from the cell company, not the ship.  I can hear the father's screech now when he opened the bill ...

 

Mura

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Posted (edited)

For those interested in current updates there is a very active thread on Viking with latest info.

Truly scary but it seems that the worst of it is over as the ship is now slowly moving towards land under its own power. We always hear the emergency signal at muster drill but hope never to hear it for a real emergency - these people did hear just that.

A nearby freighter is also disabled and 4 of the 9 crew members found it necessary to jump into the ocean and await rescue there - can't imagine how bad their situation must have been to prompt them to jump into this icy water with night approaching.

Edited by Paulchili

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I've been following this emergency on streaming media rather than news networks. Some of the video posted on the Viking board is shocking.  The ship seems to have lost control of its heading, and is just bobbing back and forth with the waves.

 

 It's pathetic and disgusting that the major news networks like CNN and MSNBC are focusing on their reporters pontificating  and prognosticating about the Mueller report rather than focus on the 1000 people whose lives are in peril.  Mostly Americans, Canadians and Brits.

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FloridaTravelers, I don't know that we can blame the networks for avoiding this issue.  Unless you are watching the three networks non-stop, you wouldn't know if they are ONLY focused on the Mueller report -- which is very important, whatever side of the issue you are on.  My husband was listening (probably on the radio) to I don't know which station which did mention this.

 

European networks are reporting, and as has been said the Viking thread is most illuminating.

 

I think I won't take Viking's Northern Lights cruise at this time of year, however ...

 

Mura

 

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4 hours ago, floridatravelersforlife said:

 

I've been following this emergency on streaming media rather than news networks. Some of the video posted on the Viking board is shocking.  The ship seems to have lost control of its heading, and is just bobbing back and forth with the waves.

 

 It's pathetic and disgusting that the major news networks like CNN and MSNBC are focusing on their reporters pontificating  and prognosticating about the Mueller report rather than focus on the 1000 people whose lives are in peril.  Mostly Americans, Canadians and Brits.

It’s the leading story on CNN.com. 

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I avoid CNN

 

A few years ago,  when I saw these winter Viking itineraries I had zero interest.   I also have no interest in transatlantic cruises.  

We did one northern lights land trip in Iceland.  The saving grace was being with family but the weather was entirely too brutal.  

 

 

 

 

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For those still interested, the Viking Sky is under her own power, pulling into Molde now.


Thank goodness...!

 

 

GC

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2 hours ago, sammiedawg said:

I avoid CNN

 

A few years ago,  when I saw these winter Viking itineraries I had zero interest.   I also have no interest in transatlantic cruises.  

We did one northern lights land trip in Iceland.  The saving grace was being with family but the weather was entirely too brutal.  

 

 

It is shocking that that they sailed the ship into that storm. Rough seas and gale force winds were forecast. Viking made a big fanfare about doing that itinerary. I would suggest that if people want to do that itinerary they do it on Hurtigruten. The sail the Norway coast every day and have years of experience with ships designed for that.

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16 hours ago, floridatravelersforlife said:

 

 

 

 It's pathetic and disgusting that the major news networks like CNN and MSNBC are focusing on their reporters pontificating  and prognosticating about the Mueller report rather than focus on the 1000 people whose lives are in peril.  Mostly Americans, Canadians and Brits.

 

They're ALL COLLUDING, that I can tell you! (OK...I'll get my coat).

 

More for my own education, what's the Norway sailing season? I was surprised to see a cruise ship there this time of year. I know Hurtigruten and affiliated companies run freighters and ferries as much as possible because highways can be knocked out in winter. But this ship is not a ferry or a freighter or a hybrid.

 

Alaska doesn't really get going until May. Was surprised to see this ship there now.

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12 minutes ago, Shawnino said:

 

They're ALL COLLUDING, that I can tell you! (OK...I'll get my coat).

 

More for my own education, what's the Norway sailing season? I was surprised to see a cruise ship there this time of year. I know Hurtigruten and affiliated companies run freighters and ferries as much as possible because highways can be knocked out in winter. But this ship is not a ferry or a freighter or a hybrid.

 

Alaska doesn't really get going until May. Was surprised to see this ship there now.

 

Viking just started doing that itinerary this winter. With great fanfare about other cruise lines not doing it in the winter. Hurtigruten ships are designed for thet itinerary and do it every day. 

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10 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

 

Viking just started doing that itinerary this winter. With great fanfare about other cruise lines not doing it in the winter. Hurtigruten ships are designed for thet itinerary and do it every day. 

 

Ouch.

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This was advertised as a Northern Lights cruise.

Speaking for myself, if I wanted to see Northern Lights I’d fly to Yellowknife or Alaska for a few days (from N. America) or Tromso/Iceland from Europe.

I’d save cruising Norway for summer.

The engine failure aside - which can happen anywhere on any ship - I just cannot see spending that kind of money on a cruise in cold weather and short days when summers with midnight sun are so beautiful in Norway.

JMO - to each their own.

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It's been a crazy, sad mess with that Viking Sky ship.  From the Associated Press/AP in the New York Post this morning, they had this headline: “Tugs tow Norway cruise ship after 463 rescued; 17 injured”  with these highlights: “More than 450 passengers were airlifted off a cruise ship that got stranded off Norway’s western coast in bad weather before the rescue operation was suspended Sunday so the vessel could be towed to a nearby port.  Five helicopters flying in the pitch darktook the evacuated passengers from the tossing ship in a painstaking process that continued throughout the night.”

 

Agree with some earlier posters on this thread. Not sure doing a March cruise in this part of Norway would be that fun or enjoyable.  Glad we had great weather when we were there up to the top of Europe on the Silver Cloud in July 2010. This AP story also noted: "Photos posted on social media showed the ship listing from side to side, and furniture smashing violently into walls.  The airlifts continued at a steady pace Sunday morning, as the vessel was being prepared for towing by two tugboats to the nearby town of Molde."

 

Full story at:

https://nypost.com/2019/03/24/tugs-tow-norway-cruise-ship-after-463-rescued-17-injured/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 234,333 views. 

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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This was advertised as a Northern Lights cruise.
Speaking for myself, if I wanted to see Northern Lights I’d fly to Yellowknife or Alaska for a few days (from N. America) or Tromso/Iceland from Europe.
I’d save cruising Norway for summer.
The engine failure aside - which can happen anywhere on any ship - I just cannot see spending that kind of money on a cruise in cold weather and short days when summers with midnight sun are so beautiful in Norway.
JMO - to each their own.


That itinerary is great in July. Did it a few years ago. If I wanted to do the Northern Lights I would fly to Reykjavik. But if I did want to do it on that itinerary in the winter months I would do I with Hurtigruten. They are an experienced operator that has been doing that itinerary for years.

“Hurtigruten held their ships in Bergen and Trondheim, according to Norwegian press reports”

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We did Hurtigruten's coastal itinerary in 1975 when it was Bergen Lines.  We encountered a storm on the way north that the captain described as the worst he'd seen in 25 years of service.  It was incredibly rough -- lying in my bunk I would go from "standing up" to "standing on my head".  Very few people made it to meals for a day or so.

 

A few days later we were sunbathing north of the arctic circle.  (This was in July so no question of the kind of weather the Viking SKY encountered yesterday.)

 

I agree that if I wanted to do this itinerary at this time of year I'd stick with Hurtigruten.

 

Mura

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From the London/UK Times a few minutes ago, they had this headline: “Britons winched to safety from stricken cruise ship in Norway”  with a picture of the Viking Sky being docked in Molde, Norway.  

 

Here are some of their story highlights: “British passengers described the ordeal today of being winched up to helicopters from a stricken cruise ship in howling wind and heaving seas on a treacherous stretch of the Norwegian coast.  Derek Browne, from Hampshire, said the rescue had been frightening. 'I’d never been in a helicopter before. There were a lot of high winds, hovering overhead and the winchman came down and we were then collected up and so I shut my eyes as we arrived into the helicopter and there were 15 of us for about a 20-minute ride.'  Some 200 Britons were among 915 passengers and 458 crew aboard the two-year-old luxury ship. About 20 injured passengers were taken to hospital while others suffered minor injuries, mainly caused by loose furniture and fittings which careened across the decks as the vessel rolled violently in waves up to 25 feet high. There were many Americans and Australians among the passengers.”

 

Here is more on the history with these Viking ships:  "The cruise line, which was arranging for passengers’ homeward flights, has suffered other recent engine failures. The Viking Sea, one of six identical ships, suffered an engine problem in December of 2016 which kept her stuck in Barcelona. In 2016 she temporarily lost power in Malta. In August of 2015, the Viking Star lost power in an engine after leaving Tallinn and the cruise was cancelled."

 

Full story at:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/britons-winched-to-safety-from-stricken-cruise-ship-in-norway-rjg9mrjs8

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 44,629 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

 

From the UK Times, here is their visual of ship being docked in Norway.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

1244065499_ScreenShot2019-03-24at7_18_34PM.thumb.png.32c572a457e88d7769387ae45a4e9754.png

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A well-regarded chief naval engineer, Merchant Marine Academy grad, chengkp75, is posting on the Viking Ocean board.  His ideas on what may have gone wrong are a bit technical, but if anyone is interested, he is the best source possible for explanations about deploying anchors, lifeboats, engines, electrical systems, etc.  A worthwhile read.

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Keep this experience in mind when people complain about missed ports because of "minor" weather problems that other cruise lines are willing to sail through. When a cruise line takes a risk and makes it to the next port safely, it's all well and good. But sometimes the risk takers guess wrong and the consequences can be lethal.

 

Mary

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