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Viking Star evacuation

(38 Posts)
Anja Sun 24-Mar-19 10:34:57

This is horrific - being evacuated by helicopter. Dangling underneath in strong winds.

Those already evacuated (about 300 of the 1,300 passengers) tell how frightening it has been. No chance of taking them off via other ships as seas too rough.

I think sometimes we forget just how strong the forces of nature are. Last I heard they had managed to restart three of the four engines and were limping to port.

EllanVannin Sun 24-Mar-19 10:50:42

No matter the size of those cruise ships they'll never conquer bad weather. So top heavy and ungainly.
I watched this unfold yesterday as it got close to " the edge " and had it gone any nearer touching land it would have rolled sideways. There's too much to go wrong !

I'd already pointed out that as the news broke I was watching a film on Talking Pictures about the Titanic and it was indeed scary.

I could never take a cruise on one of those enormous floating hotels, especially in the Atlantic as I'd always feel uneasy. The smaller ferry boats are built for such conditions even though they're not fitted out with the same anti-rolling components but they can plough through rough seas no problem.
The seas in the Mersey can be atrocious but the ferry to Belfast/Ireland still sails.

Jane10 Sun 24-Mar-19 11:07:25

It's actually Viking Sky and is one of the smallest cruise ships. Unlike the huge ones which take 3,500 + passengers the Viking Ocean ships only take 900 + crew.
We were on its sister ship last year. They're beautiful, tasteful, understated ships. No glitz or flashinesswhatsoever.
It was awful to see the videos and tweets from onboard yesterday. I suppose it's the first time we've had access to real time first hand reports like this. Makes you think about eg the Titanic and other shipwrecks. sad
However, the Sky now seems to be under control and on tow back to a safe harbour. What a horrible experience for all concerned.

petra Sun 24-Mar-19 11:17:51

I've been in exactly that situation in the Bay of Biscay.
Same thing happened, engines stopped.
Fortunately our situation only lasted a few hours.
I still went on cruises, though, after that.

EllanVannin Sun 24-Mar-19 11:37:52

How quick the Costa Concordia went down in 2012. These ships, like the Titanic are supposed to be unsinkable in various conditions.

I appreciate that it was entirely the fault of the captain of the Concordia and the difference being with the captain of the Viking was that there was no comparison between the two as the latter shut down the remaining engines and dropped anchor before the ship drifted.

yggdrasil Sun 24-Mar-19 11:40:25

That's about the same size as the C&M ship we went on last year to Norway. It was the time of one of those named storms and we had to take refuge in Stavanger and miss one of our points of call. No engine problems thank goodness.

Anja Sun 24-Mar-19 13:08:47

Oops wrong name.

Jalima1108 Sun 24-Mar-19 14:36:34

I watched this unfold yesterday as it got close to " the edge " and had it gone any nearer touching land it would have rolled sideways. There's too much to go wrong

Was that the view of experts EllanVannin?

It must indeed have been a very scary experience, especially having to be taken off by helicopter in that atrocious weather.

However, I have just asked an expert about whether or not these ships could 'tip over', roll sideways or are top heavy, therefore unsafe and the answer was no.
Ships are designed with stabilisers to combat the weight above sea level; they would normally plough through the waves but, because of the engine failure of this ship, it would be left 'bobbing like a cork' in the rough seas, hence going from side to side (terrifying indeed). It would, however, not 'tip over' unless it hit rocks.

We left Miami once in a hurricane, I was nervous but we sailed out of it. And, by luck, were not on the Brittany Ferry that caught fire en route from Plymouth to Roscoff years ago.

These ships, like the Titanic are supposed to be unsinkable in various conditions.
Ship design has improved somewhat over the last 100 years. The Titanic hit an iceberg, the Costa Concordia hit rocks.

This ship was drifting but luckily they have managed to start the engines again.

Jalima1108 Sun 24-Mar-19 14:40:09

The smaller ferry boats are built for such conditions even though they're not fitted out with the same anti-rolling components but they can plough through rough seas no problem.
Ferries have been known to sink or have other problems, EllanVannin, in fact I believe that more have had problems than have cruise ships.

Doodle Sun 24-Mar-19 14:47:41

We were on a small cruise ship in a massive storm last year. Bigger waves than those suffered by the Viking ship but were ok as all our engines kept going thank goodness.
We spent 24 hours in our cabin as everything was crashing around outside but captain and crew were fantastic.
We were cruising Norway too ?
Booked again for next year. Hope the weather’s better ?

M0nica Sun 24-Mar-19 15:15:32

The main problem with ferries is overloading. Apart from the Herald of Free Enterprise, which went out with the front bow not down, there are very few problems in Europe.

We get the new ferries and they gradually age their way around the world with more people piling on and maintenance more and more neglected. Slightly different to cruise ships.

Cruise ships are modern, well maintained and, as we saw have good safety systems that work and well trained crew.

BlueBelle Sun 24-Mar-19 15:32:32

I was really surprised seeing the funtiture tables chairs etc flying from side to side I would have thought these big boats would have built in furniture that doesn’t move in a problem sea
Never wanted to go n a cruise even less so now

jura2 Sun 24-Mar-19 18:37:29

Same here BlueBelle- friends have been trying to convince us to go with them- but it really does NOT appeal, at all.
Even more so now.

Sparklefizz Sun 24-Mar-19 18:40:53

Bluebelle I am with you, I hate boats and have never wanted to go on a cruise, and much less having seen those poor people with their life jackets on and their feet in water. Horrific!

However, one time I came back from France on a ferry in a Force 8 gale. We had had to wait hours for the gale to subside from a Force 10, and then suddenly they announced that it would be sailing. It was a horrible experience, but everything was chained down as far as I could see so furniture wasn't flying around.

I was wearing those Seabands that you put on your wrist acupuncture points to prevent seasickness as I get queasy in a gentle swell let alone gigantic grey waves battering the windows. The Seabands worked wonderfully well and it was a good test, but I have never wanted to go anywhere near a boat again.

Jane10 Sun 24-Mar-19 18:49:27

I've enjoyed all the various cruises we've been on. Easily the best ever was the Viking Ocean one we did last year which included sailing through the area the Viking Sky got into trouble in. I live in fear of sea sickness but was absolutely fine. The Sky's problem was due to engine failure so it couldn't progress or steer or use the stabilisers. Very nasty indeed.
We'd been swithering as to which cruise to book next but, somehow, I think I'll leave it for a while ?

JenniferEccles Mon 25-Mar-19 17:23:24

I am sure it was a very scary experience for all concerned, but it's important to put all this in perspective. As far as I'm aware no-one died.

Cruising remains one of the safest modes of transport, and it is a fact that we are at far more risk in the drive to the port or airport than when we are on a ship.

Cruises are the most wonderful holidays, and it certainly won't put us off !

Jalima1108 Mon 25-Mar-19 17:30:17

it's important to put all this in perspective
It is.
The only reason it was bobbing around was because the engines failed. If they had not then the ship would have ploughed through the waves - it would have been rough but not at all like it was.
Why did the engines fail? Did water get into the system somehow and contaminate the fuel?
Why did the captain not take a different route when they were aware the storm was approaching? They could have sailed away from it surely?

There are lots of unanswered questions but this is an unusual occurrence.

PamelaJ1 Mon 25-Mar-19 17:35:05

Like another poster I’ve been through the Bay of Biscay on a bad day but luckily the engines were fine. Dad had a cone camera so every so often we watch the footage and have a good giggle.
We were travelling back from NZ on a ship that was doing its last round trip, the Rangitoto. The engines stopped many times, OK about 3! It was a bit strange, bobbing about on the beautiful briny sea very quietly. They always managed to get them started and the sea was very calm.
I think that the passengers in Viking Sky had a much scarier time than us and are not too traumatised.

PamelaJ1 Mon 25-Mar-19 17:35:23


Jane10 Mon 25-Mar-19 17:38:46

They've been offered a full refund and a free cruise. I wonder how many of them fancy another cruise!

Anja Mon 25-Mar-19 17:42:43

I think that when the engines failed the ship was at the mercy of the seas, in this case very rough seas.. There was a real danger of capsize.

Jalima1108 Mon 25-Mar-19 18:02:41

There was a real danger of capsize.
Is that a professional opinion or has that been reported on the news because, according to what I have been told by someone who spent his working life at sea, it would not have capsized unless it drifted towards and hit rocks.

TwiceAsNice Mon 25-Mar-19 18:10:35

Just reinforces my opinion that I’ve always been right in never going on a cruise ( and never will!) Horrible for the passengers though

Jane10 Mon 25-Mar-19 18:29:44

Lots of real marine engineer experts on the Cruise Critic Forum. Check that re potential risks and probable causes.

Deedaa Mon 25-Mar-19 22:48:03

DH is keen to do a Scandinavian cruise. I think he might have to go alone!