Watch: AIS Animation Shows Just How Close the Viking Sky Cruise Ship Came to Disaster

An animation of the Viking Sky’s AIS ship tracking shows just how close the cruise came to disaster after losing power along the west coast of Norway on Saturday.

The ship had almost 1,400 passengers and crew on board when it suffered engine failure as it sailed in stormy weather in the Hustadvika, an infamous 10-nautical-mile stretch of water in the Norwegian Sea known for its hazardous.

As you can see from the video, the Viking Sky ran into trouble at about 1300 UTC (1400 LT) Saturday, and within a half hour the cruise ship had drifted dangerously close to land. 

According to media reports and photos of the incident, the ship was able to drop anchor and use a single engine to slowly make its way back to deeper water as rescue vessels began to arrive on scene. 

Waves were reported 6-8 meters high.  

viking sky in distress
A cruise ship Viking Sky drifts towards land after an engine failure, Hustadvika, Norway March 23, 2019. Frank Einar Vatne/NTB Scanpix/via REUTERS

Rescue helicopters were able to airlift 479 people from the cruise ship, plucking them one-by-one from the top deck. 

About 50 seconds into the video, the Viking Sky is taken under tow by the ocean tug Ocean Response (at approximately 0800 UTC on Sunday). The vessel eventually was towed to Molde, Norway, where it arrived Sunday.

There were about 20 injuries reported. 

The 227-meter Viking Sky was delivered to Viking Ocean Cruises in 2017. 

The 915 passengers on board were mainly from the United States and Britain, along with Canada and Australia. 

Related: Cruise Ship with 1,300 People On Board in Distress Off Norway