On the afternoon of March 23, 2019, the Viking Cruise Line vessel VIKING SKY had the misfortune of losing power while in the middle of one of the roughest parts of the Norwegian Sea. The double-whammy of stormy seas and a loss of propulsion caused the ship to ride in the trough of the heavy seas, resulting in damage to the vessel and causing injury to at least twenty passengers who required medical attention.
When the ship left port, nearly 1,400 passengers and crew were on board. All were expecting a pleasant trip between two scenic Norwegian ports. Instead, the vessel soon encountered a raging sea, with wave heights upwards of 25 feet. Ordinarily, a ship like the VIKING SKY can handle such conditions with ease. Instead, coincident with the huge seas, the ship lost power and was forced to issue a MAYDAY call for rescue. The Norwegian Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway put together a team of helicopters and tugs to assist the foundering ship. By nightfall, nearly 500 passengers had been evacuated via helicopter. The next day, the seas calmed enough for tugboats to make their way onto the scene and bring the vessel into Molde, Norway, the nearest port. According to officials on the scene, the ship came within 100 meters of running aground. Only by dropping anchor in shallow water did the crew prevent what could have been a major environmental disaster.
Although cruise lines represent one of the safest ways to vacation today, such voyages are not always guaranteed to please. Rough seas, engine failures and groundings are just a few of the many things that can go wrong. Anderson & Mitchell represents passengers and crew when such a cruise results in harms and losses. If you are injured while on such a cruise, call Anderson & Mitchell. We stand ready to help.