Helicopters used to rescue passengers from stranded cruise ship during dangerous storm

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Helicopters Used To Rescue Passengers From Stranded Cruise Ship During Dangerous Storm In Norway

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Choppy waves and strong gusts of wind from a bad storm Saturday forced the evacuation of 1,300 passengers from a Norwegian cruise ship under extreme circumstances.

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Passengers, reportedly British and American tourists, were hoisted one by one from the Viking Sky cruise ship into five available helicopters as waves battered the vessel during the slow and dangerous rescue, The Associated Press reported.

The storm’s strong wind, nearly 43 mph, and 26-foot waves made evacuation by lifeboat unsafe. About 180 passengers had been evacuated by 6 p.m. Officials said the evacuations would continue throughout the evening and into Sunday.

The Viking Ocean Cruises ship, which was on a 12-day trip that started March 14, was experiencing engine problems, and the crew feared it would run aground. They were able to anchor the ship for the evacuations to take place. Late Saturday evening three of the ship’s four engines had been restarted.

Later, a cargo ship with nine crew members was in distress and two of the helicopters were diverted to help. All crew of the Hagland Captain were rescued.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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