Passengers airlifted from cruise ship stranded off Norway’s coast

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Cruise ship adrift off Norway to evacuate 1300 passengers

Passengers rescued from the Viking Sky cruise ship are helped from a helicopter in Hustadvika, Norway, on March 23, 2019. Norweigian rescue officials confirmed the freighter "Hagland Captain" was in trouble, with two helicopters divertred to assist.

The Viking Sky managed to moor a few kilometres off western Norway and sent out a distress signal in windy conditions. About 100 people had been evacuated by 1530 GMT, police said.

Rescue helicopters evacuated dozens of people from a luxury cruise ship which suffered engine failure on Saturday in stormy weather off the west coast of Norway, police and rescue workers said. "I've never experienced anything so scary".

Norwegian media says British and American tourists make up the majority of the passengers.

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She said her helicopter ride to safety came amid strong winds "like a tornado", prompting her to pray "for the safety of all aboard".

The Viking Sky cruise ship sent an SOS message due to "engine problems in bad weather", southern Norway's rescue center wrote on Twitter. It was just chaos.

Rescue service spokesman Einar Knudsen told the Reuters news agency that rescuing all passengers "will take a long time".

TMZ reports the cruise ship had begun to drift toward shore but managed to restart an engine and regain its course as the evacuation continues.

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Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely hard circumstances.

"It's a demanding exercise, because they (passengers) have to hang in the air under a helicopter and there's a very, very strong wind", witness Odd Roar Lange told NRK at the site.

Authorities kicked off the evacuation on Saturday afternoon.

Video footage from on board the cruise ship Viking Sky shows furniture rolling around and parts of the ceiling collapsing.

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