Cruise ship nightmare: How passengers were stranded in rough seas after engine failure

In March the Viking Sky left Tromso in Norway heading to Stavanger when the ship hit heavy waters. Due to low oil levels, sensors on board the colossal vessel shut off engines to prevent a breakdown. However, the captain was forced to send out a distress call as the heavy seas battered against his ship, leaving passengers terrified. 

Hundreds of people were airlifted from the ship before it eventually managed to restart three of the engines and limp back into the dock of Molde. 

Channel 4’s “When Cruises Go Wrong” revealed how the terrifying ordeal played out. 

The narrator said last night: “The Viking Sky was headed home past the reef-riddled stretch of coastline called Hustadvika. 

“As a 2011 hurricane showed, it’s a place to approach with caution.

“The forecast was so bad local ferry captains stayed in port, but the Viking Sky skipper, with local navigators, ploughed on south. 

“A 220-metre-long ocean-going ship like Viking Sky can cope with bad weather, but the captain could not have predicted the technical problems he was about to face. 

“All four of the Viking’s engine’s had failed, stranding her close to reefs that could sink her. 

“And for the passengers on board the stricken ship, this voyage was about to get a whole lot worse.” 

Aboard the ship were Britons Derek and Esther Browne, from Hampshire, who explained how their amazing holiday soon turned to a nightmare. 

Derek said: “The first few days were brilliant, sunshine, no wind. 

“Things started to get a bit different when the weather changed. 

“Suddenly the lady in from sitting on a chair fell over, then someone else fell over. 

“And then, no noise at all.” 

Esther detailed how passengers first refused to accept the situation. 

She added: “I think it was one of the best cruises we have been on. 

“The whole of Friday it was very rough and at times you just saw the waves coming up to the window. 

“We were very British about it and felt we still needed to have our lunch. 

“It was pretty rough and people were having to hold on.” 


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