Police say a cruise ship with engine problems has sent a mayday call off Norway's western coast and is making plans to evacuate its 1,300 passengers and crew.
As five helicopters and a number of vessels attempted to evacuate the passengers, a nearby freight vessel lost engine power forcing authorities to divert some resources to help that ship's crew, rescue center officials said.
The cruise ship Viking Sky as it drifts after sending a Mayday signal because of engine failure in windy conditions near Hustadvika. "I've never experienced anything so scary".
They said rescue attempts for the cruise ship were delayed as a effect, but all passengers and crew were deemed safe.
She said her rescue came amid strong winds "like a tornado" and she said she started to pray "for the safety of all aboard". It was just chaos.
The ship, in rough seas in the Hustadvika area on the western coast of Norway, is working to get more than one engine running, the rescue center said on Twitter.
Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to help, and the evacuation process was expected to take several hours.
Another vessel had been despatched to try to tow the Viking Sky into port, possibly removing the need for the airlift.
"It's a demanding exercise, because they [passengers] have to hang in the air under a helicopter and there's a very, very strong wind", Odd Roar Lange, a witness at the site, told NRK.
The ship was visiting the Norwegian towns and cities of Narvik, Alta, Tromso, Bodo and Stavanger before its scheduled arrival in Tilbury in Essex on Tuesday.
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