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Cruise ship off Norway issues mayday; begins evacuations

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 Hustadsvika Bay, between the western Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim.

The cruise ship Viking Sky as it drifts after sending 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 estimated 1,300 passengers. (Odd Roar Lange NTB scanpix via AP)

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.

The cruise ship Viking Sky after it sent out a Mayday signal because of engine failure in windy conditions off the west coast of Norway, Saturday March 23, 2019. The Viking Sky is forced to evacuate its 1,300 passengers. (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen NTB scanpix via AP)

The cruise ship Viking Sky after it sent out a Mayday signal because of engine failure in windy conditions off the west coast of Norway, Saturday March 23, 2019. The Viking Sky is forced to evacuate its 1,300 passengers. (Odd Roar Lange NTB scanpix via AP)