(CNN) – A cruise ship has docked in Molde harbor, western Norway, after a harrowing day stranded at sea.
Passengers aboard the Viking Sky cruise ship shouted, “We made it,” because the vessel arrived in port on Sunday afternoon, Norwegian state broadcaster NRK reported.
Rescue groups had airlifted 479 individuals from the ship after it was left adrift in stormy seas Saturday with 1,300 passengers and crew on board. Passengers disembarked with tales of terrifying situations, with many having been tossed about by wind and waves for 20 hours after the vessel despatched a misery sign.
The Viking Sky, which regained engine energy on Sunday morning, sailed to Molde harbor accompanied by two provide ships and one tug help vessel. There have been 436 company and 458 crew nonetheless remaining on board.
Twenty individuals who sustained accidents within the incident have been being handled at medical services in Norway, or had already been discharged, Viking Ocean Cruises stated.
“All through all of this, our first precedence was for the protection and well-being of our passengers and our crew,” Viking Ocean Cruises stated in an announcement, thanking Norwegian emergency providers and native residents for his or her help.
Rescuers confronted tough seas and waves as excessive as 6-Eight meters (roughly 19-26 toes) as they labored to airlift passengers by helicopter earlier on Sunday.
A determined watch for rescue
After being evacuated to shore, American passenger Jan Terbruegen described the scenes on board the Viking Sky to CNN affiliate Dagbladet.
“Furnishings would slide throughout the room, slide again and with it got here individuals and glass. It was a really harmful state of affairs frankly,” Terbruegen stated.
He stated that they had been advised to desert ship rapidly — leaving little time to be scared.
“We have been attempting to remain decrease within the ship in the direction of the middle simply because it was a recipe for seasickness. After which they known as muster stations and inside half an hour we discovered that we’re getting off right here. We may see that we have been getting blown in in the direction of some rocks. That was probably the most scary factor I believe. However fortunately that wasn’t our future.”
Fellow passenger Beth Clark described to Dagbladet being airlifted from the vessel.
“The man got here down from the helicopter — one of many Coast Guards — snapped my belt and stated ‘maintain it’ and shot me up about 100 toes within the air and onto the helicopter,” she stated.
“I used to be extra frightened of hitting the blades. I did not look down, in order that was my massive concern. Everybody had their totally different fears, that was mine . However they have been superior, I imply as quickly as they hoisted you up, he grabbed me and pulled me in like a sack of potatoes and drug me to the again of the helicopter.”
Passenger Alexus Sheppard from northern California stated Saturday she had been ready virtually six hours to be evacuated. Most individuals have been pretty calm, she stated, they usually have been being served meals and water.
“It is nonetheless rocking and rolling right here,” Sheppard stated.
One other passenger, Ryan Flynn, described the determined watch for rescue.
“It is about 3:15 a.m. native Norway time and many people are nonetheless stranded on the Vikings Sky,” he tweeted. “It is depressing because the seas are nonetheless very excessive with sturdy winds. The ship continues to pitch and roll. Captain is hoping the winds and seas calm sufficient to deliver ship into port.
Authorities initially despatched 5 helicopters and quite a few vessels to evacuate the passengers. They have been pressured to divert some assets when a close-by freight vessel misplaced engine energy, placing that ship’s crew in peril, rescue heart officers stated.
Norwegian police stated that evacuees have been being processed onshore on the Brynhallen indoor sports activities stadium.
Passengers have been then being taken to inns in Molde and Kristiansund, the place evacuee facilities had been established, they stated.
Lack of engine energy
“Our first precedence was for the protection and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew, and in shut cooperation with the Norwegian Coast Guard, the captain determined to evacuate all company from the vessel by helicopter,” it stated.
The Viking Sky ship, owned by Viking Ocean Cruises, was in-built 2017 and may maintain 930 company, in keeping with the corporate’s web site.