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Norwegian Police Investigate Why Viking Sky Set Sail Despite Storm Warnings

By ,   March 26, 2019 ,   Accidents

Viking Cruises has been accused of “recklessly” putting cruise passengers at risk via setting sail despite storm warnings, thus forcing an evacuation.

An investigation was launched yesterday, March 25, by police and other agencies into why Viking Sky was taken out into "notoriously perilous waters during bad weather."

The vessel, carrying 1,373 people onboard, sent out a mayday call on Saturday, March 23, after she lost power in stormy seas, as she was tossed about in 15-meter waves that sent furniture sliding from side to side. As Viking Sky drifted, she came within 100 meters of being dashed on the rocks. The accident led to an airlift rescue, as about 500 passengers, many elderly, were taken to safety onboard helicopters.

Investigators are examining why Viking Sky, which was en route from Port Bodo to Port Stavanger, had taken the risk of traveling through the tricky stretch of water when the storm had been forecast.

The Finnish captain had chosen to set sail despite knowing that Coastal Express, a tourist boat that crisscrosses the coast of the country, had chosen not to sail that morning.

Yesterday, passengers accused the company of “recklessly” ignoring weather warnings.

Torstein Hagen, the billionaire owner of Viking Sky, on Sunday denied that the decision to sail despite the storm had been taken due to financial considerations.

Viking Sky cruise ship

The vessel finally docked in the port of Molde, on Norway's west coast, at 4:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, March 24, having traveled there under her own power.

Viking Cruises said 36 people suffered injuries and were receiving treatment in Norway, with 7 already discharged.

For other Viking Sky accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.