In what could be one of the largest helicopter search and rescue operations, CHC Helicopter crews operating mulitple Sikorsky S-92’s for Norway’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MOJ) were dispatched today to begin airlifting the first of 1,300 passengers stranded off the coast of Norway after the cruise liner M.V. Viking Sky began experiencing propulsion issues in massive seas.
The Cruise Liner M.V. Viking Sky first reported issues off the coast of Hustadvika, close to Bergen, Norway, sending out a distress signal to Norway’s national search and rescue center as the cruise liner began to roll violently in windgusts appraoching 48 MPH and seas that at times reached a swell height over 25 feet.
Reports on the still in progress rescue show that at least 100 passengers have been hoisted off the ship currently, but helicopter rescue efforts continue to be difficult due to the hazardous conditions, the constant rolling of the ship in the massive seas and other ships in the area that have also had to abandon ship according to some reports seen on Twitter.
In a video posted to twitter tagging rescue operator CHC, imagery shows the large ocean liner pitching in the massive seas as an approaching S-92 helicopter waits for an opportunity to lower a rescue crewman to hoist another passenger off the ship’s decks.
— (@CoastguardJM) March 23, 2019