Cruise ship Viking Sky in problem

The Cruise ship Viking Sky with engine problems near the coast at Hustadvika being evacuated by helicopter:

NRK 2 direct:

Tugs, Lloyds Open Form ?


Evacuating w/5 helicopters. Tug Vivax, CG Njord and SAR vessel Erik Bye on site. Three OSVs getting close:

This is a diesel electric ship. Not sure if it is the propulsion units or power supply that is faulty.

Some evacuated pax have reached hotels in Molde. Appears to be mostly Americans.

How many helicopter sorties do you have to fly to rescue 1300 people?

A second ship, the Hagland Captain, has developed engine problem in the same area and are being evacuated:


Looks to me they may have a list.

Looking at their track makes my hair stand on end. They were very close to getting beaten into tiny fragments:


I imagine the mood in the engine room got rather spirited.

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One of the engines was restarted and the ship is anchored now which prevents for the time being that the ship ends up on the rocky Norwegian coast. Hope that the anchor holds. The wind force is 9. Five helicopters are available, each with a capacity of 15 - 20 passengers. It will take some time before the evacuation is completed. Ships are in the neighborhood but are unable, due to the weather conditions, to evacuate the passengers.

“It’s time to abdicate [sic] the area.”

Ya think?!

They have got three of their four main generators going and are heading towards more sheltered areas to the SW. Whether they will just go to nearest shelter, or go to port in Molde, or here in Aalesund is not known.

At the moment they appear to be heading for open waters at 3.2 kts. with lots of escort:

Pretty close to the rocky shore.

This is good, now sailing more or less into the wind. Watch the helicopter hovering forward over the ship.

Five of the crew from Hagland Captain has been evacuated while four is still on board and the ship is afloat:

The crew had to jump into the water to be picked up by helicopter. At least they have survival suits, but that may not be the case for those on the Viking Sky.

Latest report ar 2340 hrs. is that the last four have left and been picked up by helicopter. All are now safely ashore and the ship left at anchor.

PS> The report that the Hagland Captain was assisting the rescue operation of the Viking Sky may not be accurate. I watch her steaming along the normal fairway, until she suddenly stopped very close to the location where the Viking Sky was at anchor:
A couple of fishing boats also past without stopping around the same time.

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This is a picture from earlier, when they had managed to start one generator, moved away from the rocks and dropped anchor in relative safety.

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Were the Viking Sky hit by a freak wave??:

At 0114hrs.: It is confirmed, she is heading to Molde:

But with 3 of 4 main generators running and a speed of only 3 kts. (as of now) there must be something seriously wrong. Normally 3 generators should be sufficient for normal cruising speed + hotel load.


In a situation like this where there are about 1000 pax to be evacuated in bad weather with a number of helicopters flying a continuous "

In addition to that, it’s a fairly modern diesel-electric ship with the power plant split into two engine rooms in line with the Safe Return to Port requirements.

Simple blackout rather than actual problem with the main power plant seems more likely cause for the incident.

Ah the old “simple blackout” as opposed to the darker more silent serious ones.


She is now heading towards Molde under own power at >7 kts.
Evacuation has been stopped, with 466 pax lifted off and accommodated ashore. Some minor injuries from falls and broken glass, but no major ones reported.
Maybe the most surprising is that the passengers are not complaining, but rather prising the crew and rescuers for their professional handling of the situation. (That may change when the US media gets hold of them)

It is VERY surprising that a vessel like this can get a total blackout and loose all propulsion power. It may be time to look at the “safe to port” rules, regulations and technology. (??)

PS> The Hagland Captain is still afloat and at anchor near the coastline. Weather has improved. Don’t know if anybody has re-boarded.

@KPChief, point taken. Let me rephrase:

With the diesel-electric power plant split into two compartments with redundant auxiliary systems in line with current Safe Return to Port (SRtP) requirements, it is (in my opinion) unlikely that there was an actual problem with the main engines themselves. Thus, I’d call it “electrical problems” instead of “engine problems”, although it’s totally understandable that mainstream media does not distinguish between the two at this stage - saying the ship’s “engine” failed is enough for a layman who may compare it to being stranded on the side of the road in this car. Of course, at this stage this is all just speculation - I’m ready to stand corrected if eventually it’s revealed that the incident was caused by, say, clogged fuel filters in all four main engines. Knowing the Norwegians, we should get more information about the incident once the ship is safely in port.

As for using the words “simple blackout”, I tried to emphasize that the loss of propulsion was (at least based on current knowledge) not due to fire or flooding which, in my books, would be more severe scenarios. A relatively simple fault as the cause of blackout is also indicated by the fact that propulsion power was restored relatively quickly despite rough conditions. However, I was not trying to imply that the consequences could not be just as severe, especially with the ship drifting this close to land.

@ombugge, to my knowledge (which I have to admit does not extend very deeply into passenger ships), SRtP is just about subdivision etc. against fire and flooding, not for “just a blackout” (see above). However, personally I’d like to see some added redundancy against losing the whole electrical system in particular in ships operating in harsh environments in remote locations and/or close to shore.


James Reason has said the human/machine interface is the most likely source of errors.

An error sequence could have originated with some latent error which manifested itself in the heavy weather and then an improper crew response intended to correct that error may have instead exacerbated the original problem.

Three Mile Island, Air France 447 and many more along that interface.