Cruise ship in Hustadvika in distress – 1,300 passengers are evacuated
A cruise ship with almost 1,300 passengers on board has sent out mayday (distress signal) from Hustadvika on the Romsdal coast.
“The cruise ship Viking Sky has sent out a mayday. The vessel is drifting towards the shore,” the Main Rescue Center reports. The rescue centre has dispatched several helicopters and vessels to the site.
Gro Marte Strand, who lives near the site, informs that there is fierce wind, in addition to fog and hail in the area.
“It’s pretty bad. In some gusts there are large waves,” she tells NTB.
Strand says she sees two helicopters and two vessels assisting the ship.
An eyewitness, Frank Einar Vatne, tells Romsdals Budstikke that he estimates that the waves on the site are about four meters tall.
At 3 pm, one hour after they received notification of the incident, the police in Møre og Romsdal Tweets that the vessel will be evacuated.
“The ship cannot manoeuvre, and has engine problems,” Operational Manager of the police in Møre og Romsdal, Tor André Franck Gram, tells Romsdals Budstikke.
At 3.30 pm, the Operations Manager informs NTB that the ship has started one engine, but that it is too early to say whether the ship will be able to move under own steam.
“Hustadvika is historically a sea area where there have been a number of accidents, but so far this year it has been quiet,” Tor André Franck Gram explains.
The police inform NTB that a reception centre has been established in Brynhallen.
Head of Bryn IL, Jo Petter Nerlandsrem, tells Romsdals Budstikke that they will do what they can to help.
“The sports team is now mobilising. People in the village are on their way to Brynhallen to help as best we can,” he states.
Operational Manager Arnfinn Fedje tells Romsdals Budstikke that the two helicopters that contribute to the rescue work carry 20 to 30 passengers at a time.
”There is bad weather along much of the coast in Norway on Saturday. The low pressure causes a lot of wind, high water level and high waves. Some lightning has also been observed along the coast,” the meteorologists writes on Twitter.
According to the marine surveillance service Marine Traffic, the ship is heading south towards Stavanger. The ship sails under the Norwegian flag. It was built in 2017.
The Main Rescue Centre coordinates the relief work, assisted by the police. The Molde fire department is also on site, equipped with a fire fighting boat. According to the newspaper’s reporter, a helicopter has also arrived in the area.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today