Background

The Viking Sky Incident

A giant cruise vessel bound for the North of Noway losing its engine powers while crossing one of the most infamous stretches of ocean on the long Norwegian coast, Hustadvika.

Like a helpless colossus at the mercy of the forces of nature, it swayed violently in 8 – 15 meter high waves towards breakwater and surf, only slowed down by some drift anchors that had an almost miraculous effect on the ship's course towards a certain death for many of the 1372 lives onboard.

Not possible to launch lifeboats, not possible to evacuate more than a few by helicopter, the mother of all maritime catastophes in this region was only minutes away when they finally regained engine power and could start to move away from the grip of death.

Viking Sky Timeline

The following timeline highlights the events that took place during the evacuation of Viking Sky. It took 1 hour and 9 minutes before the first helicopter arrived. More than 11 hours and 30 minutes after the mayday signal, only 192 had been evacuated.

13:54

ENGINE FAILURE

Viking Sky loses its engine power.

14:00

MAYDAY

Viking Sky sends out a mayday signal.

14:35

A FEW METERS FROM SHORE

Viking Sky is only a few meters from shore (app. 100 m.)

15:03

HELICOPTER ARRIVES

The first helicopter arrives Viking Sky.

17:20

71 EVACUATED

71 passengers have been evacuated from Viking Sky.

01:30

192 Evacuated

192 passengers have been evacuated from Viking Sky.

09:30

475 EVACUATED

475 passengers have been evacuated from Viking Sky.

Viking Sky Alternative Timeline

The below timeline presents an alternative version of what the evacuation process could have looked like if Kloster Rescue Systems had been installed on board the Viking Sky. In under 1 hour, all passengers and the majority of the crew could have been evacuated from the ship.

13:54

ENGINE FAILURE

Viking Sky loses its engine power.

14:00

MAYDAY

Viking Sky sends out a mayday signal.

14:20

FIRST LIFEBOAT LAUNCHED

600 passengers have been evacuated from Viking Sky.

14:30

SECOND LIFEBOAT LAUNCHED

All the 915 passengers, as well as the majority of the crew, have been evacuated

14:35

A FEW METERS FROM SHORE

Viking Sky is only a few meters from shore (app. 100 m.)

14:50

3rd lifeboat launched

The majority of the crew have now been evacuated from Viking Sky.

Inconvenient truths about conventional life boats...

All ships are required to have double capacity with lifeboats, as in very many emergencies it will only be possible to evacuate from one side of the ship.

Current regulations state that lifeboat capacity is sufficient for only 25% of passengers, 50% if sailing in polar regions.

Staying in an evacuation area, which is usually located on a high-deck deck, can be a very unpleasant and sometimes frightening experience for passengers in bad weather conditions. This applies even more out on the deck, from where boarding must take place.

Boarding in partially covered lifeboats that are common on passenger ships is possible only from one side, through an opening in the tarpaulin in the middle of the lifeboat.

Boarding and staying in conventional lifeboats during evacuation in high winds entails a very great danger to passengers and crew.

Conventional lifeboats are not designed with self-healing properties at sea.

They also do not have enough design or engine power to be able to maneuver away from the casualty in a fast and efficient way.

Conventional lifeboats occupy and block a very valuable area on board.