A Norwegian cruise ship carrying over 250 passengers has lost power and maneuverability after being hit by a large wave in stormy seas off the coast of Norway.
Ship Loses Propulsion in 15-Meter Waves
The coastal cruise ship MS Maud was sailing from Tromsø to Kirkenes in northern Norway on Wednesday when it encountered a storm with 15-meter high waves and hurricane-force winds, according to Hurtigruten, the operator of the ship . A large rogue wave smashed into the ship, flooding one of its engines and knocking out power.
With the loss of power, the ship also lost its ability to navigate and was left helplessly adrift in the stormy North Sea . The captain issued a mayday call and anchored the vessel to prevent it from running aground while awaiting assistance .
Tugboats, Helicopters Deployed in Rescue Effort
Multiple tugboats and helicopters were dispatched to aid the stranded cruise ship, which was carrying 261 passengers and crew. Five helicopters and multiple vessels arrived to evacuate passengers if necessary .
However, despite the loss of power, the MS Maud was reported to still have functioning electricity, water supplies, and kitchen facilities. Passengers were safe aboard the ship and there were no reports of injuries, according to Hurtigruten .
Tugboats were attempting to tow the cruise ship to safety amidst difficult weather conditions, with waves still topping 11 meters. The Danish Meteorological Institute reported the area was experiencing hurricane-force winds of 119-140 km/h (74-87 mph) .
Cruise Line Sorry for Inconvenience
In a statement, Hurtigruten apologized to passengers for the inconvenience and disruption to their travel plans. The company said its main priority was ensuring the safety and well-being of those aboard the MS Maud .
Hurtigruten operates cruise ships for coastal voyages and excursions around Scandinavia and other environmentally sensitive polar regions. The cruise line aims to have net-zero emissions across its fleet by 2030 .
Future of Stranded Ship Uncertain
The 481-foot MS Maud is designed for voyages in arctic and sub-arctic waters. However, it is unclear if or when the ship will be able to continue sailing after the damage sustained.
Tugboats were still attempting to tow the vessel to safety amid difficult conditions late Thursday. The ship was approximately 25 nautical miles off the coast of Ålesund, Norway when it initially became stranded .
Once towed to a port, the cruise ship will likely need extensive repairs. Engineers will have to examine and repair the flooded engine room and restore power before judging the MS Maud seaworthy.
Passengers aboard the stranded ship were waiting anxiously for an opportunity to disembark. Their travel plans will likely be disrupted during the busy holiday season.
This breaking news story will be updated as more details become available on the status of the crippled Norwegian cruise ship MS Maud.
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