Everyone can now heave a sigh of relief because all the Filipino crew members of the ship Viking Sky, which suffered engine problems in the Norwegian Sea over the weekend, are safe and sound.
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced yesterday that the luxury ship’s 163 Filipino crew members are doing well and even helped during the evacuation of passengers.
The DFA also said that the passengers praised the efficiency and helpfulness of the crew members during the evacuation. One passenger even told the BBC that the crew “were magnificent” and kept “passengers safe, warm and fed”.
Viking Sky, which is owned by Viking Ocean Cruises, sent out a mayday signal on Saturday after it encountered stormy weather in the Norwegian Sea, Reuters reported. It was on its way to the city of Stavanger when the incident occurred.
Due to the stormy weather, the ship became in danger of drifting to rough shallow waters where rocks were located after its engines failed, Al Jazeera reported.
CNN International reported that 479 people had to be airlifted off the ship which moved violently, sending furniture and other things to move in different directions. Nine hundred people remained on board when it decided to make its way to Norway’s Molde port for sanctuary. The handicapped ship was escorted by tugboats and Viking Sky was able to restart three of its four engines during the trip.
The stricken ship arrived at the port at 4:30pm Norwegian time on Sunday, according to an announcement from Viking Ocean Cruises. The company said everyone was safe and flew to their home countries yesterday evening. Voice of America reported, however, that 20 people were injured from the incident.
Many of the passengers were elderly and were mostly from the United States, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. There were no Filipino passengers on board.