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Evacuation of Norway cruise ship underway after engine failure

A cruise ship off the western coast of Norway has suffered an engine failure, prompting an emergency operation to evacuate the 1,300 passengers on board, officials said.

A cruise ship off the western coast of Norway has suffered an engine failure, prompting an emergency operation to evacuate the 1,300 passengers on board, officials said.

Police in the province of More og Romsdal, in the far north-west of Norway, said the Viking Sky sent out a distress signal on Saturday afternoon.

Broadcaster NRK showed footage of the drifting Viking Sky being buffeted in heavy waves not far from a rocky stretch of coastline known as Hustadvika.

Several helicopters and ships were on their way to the area to aid in the evacuation of those on board, the Norwegian maritime rescue service said.

By 4:30 pm (1530 GMT) the first 100 passengers had been brought ashore, police said. There was no mention of serious injuries.

The passengers arrived in the small municipality of Fraena, while sleeping accommodations were being sought in the nearby towns of Molde and Kristiansund.

Various authorities and organizations were involved in the rescue efforts, including the Red Cross. The cruise ship has been anchored and the plan is for tugs to take it to calmer waters.

The Viking Sky was christened in 2017 and sails under a Norwegian flag.

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