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Graeme Smith’s parents among passengers evacuated from cruise ship in Norway


Former South African captain Graeme Smith’s parents were among the passengers who were evacuated from the Norwegian cruise ship Viking Sky on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon two kilometres (1.2 miles) off More og Romsdal, prompting the captain to send out a distress call. Rescuers worked into the night on Saturday to airlift 1,300 passengers and crew off a cruise ship after it got into difficulty in rough seas off the Norwegian coast.

Smith thanked his Twitter followers for messages of support.

He had earlier tweeted that his parents were on-board the luxury cruise ship Viking Sky which had sent out a May Day signal.
The cruise ship’s restarted three of its four engines and will be towed to port, emergency services said Sunday.

“Three of the four engines are now working which means the boat can now make way on its own,” emergency services spokesman Per Fjeld said.

“The evacuation continues at the request of the vessel … they need tugboats to get to the port,” Fjeld further said, adding that the plan was to bring the Viking Sky to the town of Molde.

Stormy weather conditions had improved in the early hours of Sunday, with winds blowing at 14 meters per second, down from 24 meters per second previously, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The wind speeds are expected to fall further during Sunday.

The stretch of water known as Hustadvika and surrounding areas are known for fierce weather and shallow waters dotted with reefs.

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