Footage taken by passengers and shared on social media shows the horrifying conditions on the stranded cruise ship and during the rescue.
The incredible story of a cruise liner stranded in the ocean during high winds captivated the world this weekend.
The Viking Sky lost all engine power and drifted perilously close to land in a notorious stretch of water on the Norwegian coastline.
Nearly 500 people were airlifted to safety by helicopter in a daring rescue operation that lasted through the night. But hundreds more remained on the ship and had to dodge flying furniture and smashing glass.
These videos shared on social media by passengers awaiting rescue shows the extent of the horrifying ordeal. First up, one showing the ship being tossed around in the water:
100 meters from a major disaster.
After a total blackout, #VikingSky was drifting in a storm for 30 minutes before the anchors finally set 100 meters from shore, and then the crew managed to start one of the engines. @lookner pic.twitter.com/Drn3XAAC5c
— L.O.M.P.E. (@Lompemann) March 24, 2019
This clip shows the situation on board before the emergency was called. The large waves caused glass to smash in the dining room, and windows to slide open:
Here’s the beginning of the end…from the dining room on the #VikingSky about 30 mins before the emergency was called. Notice the glass doors in the back of the ship slid open! @ABC @NBCNews @CBSNews @CNN @BBCBreaking ok to use pic.twitter.com/dZj0uEILx8
— Ryan Flynn (@RyanDFlynn11) March 25, 2019
This video clip shows the relative calm among passengers – all wearing life jackets – despite the ship taking on water:
— TravelMole (@TravelMole) March 23, 2019
It wasn't just water that waiting passengers had to deal with though. At its worst, the stormy weather created waves of up to eight metres high. Without propulsion, the cruise ship was tossed around like a rag doll. Anything that wasn't fixed became a potential danger.
— larry robinson (@suufala) March 25, 2019
Elderly passengers were among the first to be airlifted. The helicopters winched passengers one-by-one in windy conditions. Passengers were then taken to a reception centre in Molde, or to one of several local hospitals if they were injured.
— L.O.M.P.E. (@Lompemann) March 25, 2019
This official video is from Hovedredningssentralen Sør-Norge, the rescue organisation that led the operation. They have been widely praised by passengers for how the operation was carried out.
A little over 24 hours after the ship declared an emergency, the Viking Sky docked safely in Molde with the help of tug boats.
Passengers who had to remain on board were greeted by hundreds of local residents, who came out to the harbour side to welcome the ship into port.
An investigation has now been launched to establish the causes of what happened.
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