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Norway cruise ship towed to port after nearly 500 people rescued

Rescue services had airlifted 479 people to safety from a luxury cruise liner with engine trouble off the coast of Norway by Sunday morning and began towing the vessel to a nearby port.

The Viking Sky, with 1,373 passengers and crew on board, sent out a mayday signal on Saturday as it drifted towards land in the Norwegian Sea.

The airlift of passengers, many of them elderly, from the Viking Cruises ship by helicopter was halted on Sunday morning as two tugboats started steering the vessel towards the nearest port.

Founder and chairman of Viking Cruises, Norwegian billionaire Torstein Hagen, said he hoped the vessel would arrive at the port of Molde on Norways west coast by Sunday afternoon.

“Theyve had a bit of a shocking experience,” Hagen told Norwegian TV2 and other media after meeting passengers who had been hoisted one by one from the ships deck in stormy weather.

“Most of our passengers are senior citizens … imagine what its like to hang there on that wire. It must be a terrible experience but they seem to have handled it very well,” Hagen said.

The helicopters are on standby in case the captain decides to restart the airlift, the rescue service said.

The 915 passengers were mainly from the United States and Britain, the rescue services said. There were also Canadians and Australians on board, among others, the cruise company said.

Some 20 injured passengers had been taken to hospital, Viking Cruises said, while others had only minor injuries.

One was taken to St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim Read More

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