Rescue services have airlifted 397 people to safety from a luxury cruise liner with engine trouble off the coast of Norway by Sunday morning and are preparing to tow the vessel to a nearby port.
The Viking Sky, with 1,373 passengers and crew on board, sent out a mayday signal as it drifted towards land in the Norwegian Sea.
The ship was carrying 915 passengers, of whom “a large number” were from the United States and Britain, according to the rescue services.
Some 17 injured passengers had been taken to hospital, a local rescue coordinator told a news conference, while others suffered minor cuts and bruises. “Many have also been traumatized by the experience and need care when they arrive on shore,” the Norwegian Red Cross said in a statement.
“The evacuation continues at the request of the vessel … they need tugboats to get to port,” rescue service spokesman Per Fjeld said, adding that the plan was to bring the Viking Sky to the town of Molde.
Images and film posted by passengers on social media showed furniture sliding around as the vessel drifted in waves of up to eight meters, and passengers earlier described the ordeal.
“We were having lunch when it began to shake. Window panes were broken and water came in. It was just chaos. The trip on the helicopter, I would rather forget. It was not fun,” American passenger John Curry told public broadcaster NRK.
Viking Cruises, which owns the ship, said the safety of passengers was its top priority. The company was not immediately available for further comment.