“Very successful” rescue of Viking Sky

Viking Sky Cruise Ship rescueHustadvika in Møre and Romsdal county is considered one of the most dangerous offshore areas along the Norwegian coast. On March 23rd, 2019 the cruise ship Viking Sky came in distress, and all available sea rescue services were mobilized. “The accident should lead to new and thoroughly prepared contingency plans for the coast,” the author writes. Photo: Torgeir Are Sortehaug.

Evaluation of the Viking Sky rescue operation – “Very successful”

The actors who collaborated on the land-based part of the rescue operation during the Viking Sky accident in March, have evaluated themselves. They conclude that the operation was very successful.

“The collaboration worked very well these two days – March 23rd and 24th. This has been emphasized by all involved agencies, both professional and voluntary,” Assistant Police Chief in Møre og Romsdal Police District, Ingmar Farstad, states during the presentation of the conclusion.

All the participants in the land-based part of the rescue operation have contributed to the evaluation. It does not encompass what happened out at sea, though.

“Many used the phrase «the resources which found each other». It is very gratifying to receive such messages,” Farstad continues.

Points to improve

He, however, emphasizes that the purpose of an evaluation is to improve, and mentioned that they have found some points to improve.

“None of these points had changed the outcome of the action that we went through,” he stresses.

The major points to improve are:

  • Better routines for logging and updating the list of evacuees. This was done manually and was cumbersome. A digital solution is mentioned as a better alternative.
  • A press centre should have been established. Both to provide better information to the public and to relieve the effort leader.

The evaluation was carried out by Møre & Romsdal Police District in collaboration with the Municipality of Fræna and the other actors.


The cruise ship Viking Sky was in immediate danger of running aground after engine failure near Hustadvika in Møre og Romsdal in March this year.

The cruise ship, which was on its way from Tromsø to Stavanger, experienced major engine problems in heavy seas. At the closest, the ship was 1.5 kilometres from land in dangerously shallow waters. At one point, the ship was only 100 metres away from grounding. Video from passengers on board shows much drama, high waves, loose furniture and ceiling tiles.

479 passengers were evacuated to a centre that was established in the Bryn sports hall in Fræna.

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