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1,300 people are being airlifted from a cruise ship off the coast of Norway, which was left stranded by windy conditions and massive waves

Callie Ahlgrim , Business Insider US
 Mar 24, 2019, 01:48 PM
The Viking Sky cruise ship is currently stranded near the west coast of Norway, at Hustadvika near Romsdal.
FRANK EINAR VATNE/AFP/Getty Images
  • The Viking Sky cruise ship is evacuating passengers after it began experiencing engine problems off the coast of Norway.
  • A local paper has reported that two rescue vessels were forced to turn back after meeting waves that were over 10 metres high.
  • A video uploaded to Twitter, apparently from a passenger on board, shows that the interior of the ship has taken in some water.

On Saturday afternoon, the Viking Sky cruise ship began evacuating passengers off Norway's western coast. Stormy conditions, including heavy winds and rough water, caused the ship to experience engine problems.

By later Sunday morning, Norwegian officials said rescue workers had managed to evacuate about 400 people so far. There were reportedly 1,300 people, including passengers and crew, on board from the outset.

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats have been sent to help, though it appears that airlifting has proven more effective. According to a Twitter user who claims to be on board the Viking Sky, officials are "evacuating the entire ship by helicopters."

Another Twitter user who claims to be on the ship has corroborated that account, writing that passengers are currently being evacuated by helicopter.

According to a local Norwegian paper, two rescue vessels were forced to turn back after meeting waves that were more than 10 metres high.

A video uploaded to Twitter, apparently from another passenger on board, appears to show that the interior of the ship has taken in some water.

The same person tweeted separately, "Crew is doing a good job. Evacuation is slow. Seas rough. One muster station had a door blow in, injure pax and flood. Moved to midship."

Other videos and photos have surfaced on social media from people onshore with a visual of the stranded ship.

As the Associated Press previously reported, Viking Sky encountered propulsion problems as strong winds and heavy seas hit Norway's coastal regions. The ship was forced to moor in Hustadsvika Bay, between the western Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim.

The evacuation process is expected to take several hours.

INSIDER has reached out to the apparent passengers whose social media posts have been cited here. We will update this post with any confirmations or correspondence.

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

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