OSLO: Rescue helicopters were evacuating people from a cruise ship which suffered engine failure on Saturday in stormy weather off the west coast of Norway, police and rescue workers said.
The maritime rescue service said the Viking Sky, with about 1,300 passengers and crew on board, had sent out a mayday signal as it had been drifting towards land.
The crew were later able to restart one engine and the ship was at anchor about 2 km from land.
Eight people suffered light injuries and had been evacuated, said the rescue service, which was coordinating the response. It did not give details of how the people were hurt.
Passengers were hoisted one-by-one from the deck of the vessel and airlifted to a village just north of the town of Molde on Norway`s west coast.
Only 87 people had been evacuated by 1750 GMT, and the airlift was set to continue throughout the night, rescue service spokeswoman Borghild Eldøen told Reuters. Two purpose-built vessels operated by the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue had been forced to turn back due to the severe weather, the service said.