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Forced Evacuation from Cruise Ship Accident in Norway

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On Saturday, March 23rd, passengers aboard a Viking Ocean Cruise ship were forced to evacuate from the watercraft off of Norway’s western coast.

The luxury cruise vessel, the Viking Sky, experienced engine failure as well as propulsion issues stemming from an unknown cause. Since winds were at 43 mph and waves reached heights of 26 feet, lifeboats were not able to be used as a method of evacuation.

That afternoon, a mayday call was issued. Out of 1,373 passengers and crew members on the trip, 479 passengers were airlifted. The remainder of the passengers stayed aboard until the ship reached the coast with the assistance of tug boats.

Carolyn Savikas, a tourist from Pennsylvania who was aboard the ship, recalled a gigantic wave that crashed into the ship’s restaurant. “We were in the restaurant when a really huge wave came and shattered a door and flooded the entire restaurant… All I saw were bones, arms, water and tables. It was like the Titanic – just like the pictures you have seen from the Titanic.”

The Viking Sky docked on March 24th in Molde, Norway. Approximately 20 individuals were injured due to the cuts on their bodies from flying glass.

Zainab Ali, a WJPS junior, said “If I knew how to swim, then I would be fine with going on a cruise. Why would I ever want to go on a cruise if I don’t know how to swim? It’s scary. I don’t want to risk my life.”

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