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The Latest: 2nd ship needs rescue off Norway’s western coast

The cruise ship Viking Sky lays at anchor in heavy seas, after it sent out a Mayday signal because of engine failure in windy conditions, near Hustadvika, off the west coast of Norway, Saturday March 23, 2019. The Viking Sky is forced to evacuate its 1,300 passengers. (Frank Einar Vatne / NTB scanpix via AP)

HELSINKI (AP) — The Latest on the Viking Sky cruise ship, which is having engine problems off the coast of Norway (all times local):

9:40 p.m.

Norwegian rescue authorities say a freighter has experienced an engine seizure in the same stormy Hustadsvika Bay region off western Norway where hundreds of people are being winched off by helicopter from the ailing Viking Sky cruise ship.

Authorities say they have had to divert two of the five helicopters rescuing 1,300 passengers and crew from the cruise ship to help the Hagland Captain cargo vessel’s crew of nine in the storm.

Both boats are trying to avoid being dashed on the rocky coast. The cruise ship is moored between the western Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim. People are being winched off one by one, with one passenger saying she was terrified as she was buffeted by high winds.

Rescue workers say it will take hours to evacuate all those on the cruise ship.

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9:20 p.m.

A passenger who was winched off the Viking Sky cruise ship by helicopter as a massive storm hit western Norway says the rescue was terrifying.

Janet Jacob, among the first group of passengers evacuated by helicopter to a hotel in the nearby town of Molde, told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK late Saturday that “I was afraid. I’ve never experienced anything so scary.”

She said her rescue came amid strong winds “like a tornado” and she said she started to pray “for the safety of all aboard.”

The Viking Sky had engine problems and sent a mayday call off Norway’s western coast on Saturday as it desperately tried to avoid being grounded on the rocky coast. Then the helicopter rescues began.

Norwegian media says British and American tourists make up the majority of the passengers. Including crew, 1,300 people were on the ship.

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6 p.m.

Norwegian officials say rescue workers have managed to evacuate about 100 people so far from a cruise ship that ran into engine problems in heavy winds and seas and sent a mayday call off Norway’s western coast.

Authorities kicked off an evacuation on Saturday afternoon of the estimated 1,300 passengers and crew from the Viking Sky cruise ship. Rescue teams with helicopters and boats have been sent to help, and the evacuation process expected to take several hours.

Norwegian newspaper VG said the Viking Sky into propulsion problems as strong winds and heavy seas hit Norway’s coastal regions and had to moor in Hustadvika Bay, between the western Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim.

The Viking Sky was delivered in 2017 to operator Viking Ocean Cruises.

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5:15 p.m.

Police say a cruise ship with engine problems has sent a mayday call off Norway’s western coast and is making plans to evacuate its 1,300 passengers and crew.

Norwegian newspaper VG said the Viking Sky cruise ship ran into propulsion problems as strong winds and heavy seas hit Norway’s coastal regions Saturday.

Police in the western county of Moere og Romsdal said Saturday the ship has managed to moor in Hustadvika Bay, between the western Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim.

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats have been sent to help and evacuate the vessel, a process expected to take several hours.

The Viking Sky was delivered in 2017 to operator Viking Ocean Cruises.

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