The evacuation operation for Viking Sky, which lost engine power in a storm off the coast of western Norway on Saturday, has ended. As of 10 a.m. local time Sunday, 479 people had been airlifted by helicopter and the ship was traveling to Molde under its own power.
Twenty receive care in hospital
'Currently we understand 20 people suffered injuries as a result of this incident, and they are all receiving care at the relevant medical centers in Norway, with some already having been discharged,' Viking Cruises said in a statement.
Norwegian newspaper VG reported several people suffered fractures, and said three had serious injuries.
Supply ships and tug escort
En route to Molde, Viking Sky is being accompanied by two offshore supply ships and one tug assist vessel. There are currently 436 passengers and 458 crew on board.
Viking Cruises said arrangements were made to fly the 479 evacuated people home, with the first passengers leaving today.
A Viking team, including owner Torstein Hagen, is on site in Molde, and news reports said Hagen had met with some of the evacuees.
Next cruise canceled
Viking Sky's next sailing, 'Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal,' scheduled to embark on March 27, has been canceled, and passengers and their travel agents have been contacted directly.
Viking does not anticipate any additional cancellations at this time.
Appreciation for emergency rescue assist
The company thanked Norwegian rescue and emergency services for their 'support and skill displayed in managing the situation in very challenging weather conditions.' Viking also expressed appreciation to local residents who have been 'extremely supportive and hospitable.'
Phone numbers have been set up for friends and family of passengers: For US/AU 1-888-889-8837 and for UK 07585 779 853 or 0208 780 7900.
Viking Sky was traveling from Tromsø to Stavanger when it lost engine power in heavy seas and high winds at 2 p.m. Saturday Norwegian time. Eventually the crew was able to secure the vessel by anchor and later power was restored, reportedly in one engine.