When people think of vacations, they think of relaxing. Travel. Great food. Adventure, but just enough to keep things interesting.
One of the easiest ways to combine food, lodging and travel in one is to go on a cruise. People of all ages enjoy sailing the sea aboard a tranquil boat, nothing but meal choices to worry about.
But ships are still man-made and prone to accidents, and the weather will not be tamed. Passengers aboard the Viking Sky were reminded of that first-hand on March 23 when their ship lost power and was subjected to 50 mph winds and 26-foot-tall waves.
The wind and waves started to drive the powerless ship towards the rocks near the coast of Norway, which made the situation for the 1300+ people aboard even more dire.
Coast Guard stepped in to help with five helicopters, airlifting over 470 people from the ship. While no one has been reported dead, 20 people were injured, including an elderly couple who was seriously injured.
“It was very nearly a disaster,” Hans Vik with the Norway Police’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre told the Daily Mail. “The ship drifted to within 100 metres of running aground before they were able to restart one of the engines. If they had run aground we would have faced a major disaster.”
Thankfully the ship managed to get to a port in Molde on Monday, though one of its engines still wasn’t working.
The passengers are still recovering, either from their physical wounds or the stressful ordeal they just made it through. Some of them mentioned that it had been “like being on the Titanic.”
“It was really windy — one of the crew had to hold you because you could have been blown to the side,” Roberta Thake from Hampshire told the Daily Mail.
“I thought to myself I had to stay calm, perhaps because I was traveling on my own I had to look after myself … it could have been so different. It was a close call.”
Denise Tozer, traveling with her husband Michael, said that they were terrified they’d be lost in the waves.
“We were sitting there and it was rocking we could hear the bulk doors being shut and no engine, we really thought our time had come,” she said.
“We could tell we were very close to the rocks because we could see them. It [the ship] just went – chairs, tables, crockery, big pot plants smashed in front of me, I went with. We were frightened we would fall out of the window into the sea. Thoughts go through your head about what could have happened, but we were lucky.”
Investigations are being launched to determine the cause of the malfunction, though currently authorities do not suspect foul play.
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