A cruise ship that has been stranded overnight after suffering engine failure in windy weather off the coast of Norway is set to slowly make its way to shore after three of its four engines were restarted Sunday, officials said.
Norwegian rescue services said almost 400 of the 1,373 people aboard the Viking Sky vessels had been safely airlifted to shore. The ship, which sent out a mayday message on Saturday afternoon when it lost power off the midwestern coast of the Scandinavian country, has been listing in waves of up to eight meters (26 feet) and high winds.
"Three of the four engines are now working which means the boat can now make way on its own," Per Fjeld, spokesman for the Joint Rescue Centre of Southern Norway, told reporters.
The Rescue Centre said a tug boat would guide the cruise ship towards the nearby port of Molde, where reception centers were in place to offer support and first aid to passengers, while helicopter evacuations would continue in parallel.
Around 17 people have been hospitalized.
Videos shared online by passengers inside the Viking Sky showed objects and pieces of furniture sliding across the floor as the vessel tilted from side to side.
Norwegian rescue services said five helicopters took part in the evacuations. Some rescue boats that set out to help with the evacuation were forced to turn back by the storm.
Of the 1,373 people aboard the Viking Sky, 915 are passengers, mainly from the United States and the United Kingdom, while 458 were crew.
The coastal waters of Hustadvika, where the engine failure took place, are considered a complex area for navigation since high winds and powerful ocean currents are frequent there.
The ship was en route from Tromso, in the north of Norway, to Stavanger further south, roughly 500 kilometers (310 miles) to the west of Oslo. The fjords of Norway's coast are a popular tourist attraction.
Constructed in 2017, the Viking Sky is operated by Viking Ocean Cruises, part of Norwegian billionaire Torstein Hagen's Viking Cruises group.
The vessel sailed on Mar. 14 from the western Norwegian city of Bergen for a 12-day cruise to the British port of Tilbury.