Evacuation underway for hundreds stranded on Viking cruise ship with damaged engine

Hundreds of passengers and crew members on a stranded Viking cruise liner off the coast of Norway were awaiting rescue on Saturday after an engine failed.

ABC News reported Saturday that efforts were underway from Norwegian authorities to evacuate 1,300 people, including 900 passengers, from a Viking cruise ship dubbed "The Viking Sky," which reported engine failure and stranding around 2 p.m. local time.

ADVERTISEMENT

Video posted by passengers on social media showed the ship being battered by heavy waves as furniture was tossed about the interior. Norway's Rescue Coordination Centre reported to ABC News that eight people had been removed with injuries so far, while at least 87 people had been evacuated in total since efforts began.

One engine remained operational on the ship to prevent it from drifting further into the ocean, according to news reports.

"We are working closely with the relevant authorities and all operational procedures were followed in line with international regulations," a Viking spokesperson told The Hill in an email. "In addition Viking has dispatched an operational task force, including the company’s owner, to Molde."

"Our first priority was for the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew, and in close cooperation with the Norwegian Coast Guard, the captain decided to evacuate all guests from the vessel by helicopter," the spokesperson continued. 

"The ship is proceeding on its own power and a tugboat is on site. The evacuation is proceeding with all necessary caution. A small number of non-life threatening injuries have been reported. Guests are being accommodated in local hotels when they arrive back on shore, and Viking will arrange for return flights for all guests," the spokesperson said.

One passenger, Danny Bates, told Eurovision that passengers were being airlifted in slings by helicopters.

"Very frightening. We went up on a helicopter with a sling, the two of us together and it was quite scary," Bates said, according to ABC.