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A rescue operation was launched Tuesday night after a Hurtigruten coastal passenger ship lost power and was drifting off a notoriously dangerous area off the coast of Norway.
Officials say the MS Kong Harald lost power and began drifting towards the coast but was able to drop anchor, which successfully held the ship in place until engine power was restored. The ship arrived at Molde, Norway to undergo inspection and the rescue operation was stood down.
Reports say the MS Kong Harald had 236 passengers and 70 crew members on board, none of whom were injured. The ship was sailing from Kristiansund into Hustadvika at the time of the incident.
The ship broke down in a area called Hustadvika, a notoriously dangerous stretch of coastline where the Viking Sky cruise ship nearly ran aground after losing power back in March 2019 with over 1,300 people on board. A report on that incident said the ship lost power due to low lubricating oil pressure.
An update Wednesday from the Norwegian Maritime Directorate said the ship lost power due to a failure of its fuel supply system caused by wear and tear.
Apparently power to the ship’s port engine was shut down shortly after its departure from Kristiansund due to a leak of cooling fluid. As repairs were underway, the ship’s starboard engine also lost power, leaving the ship without its main propulsion. The Norwegian Maritime Directorate said the Captain used a the vessel’s thruster to maneuver it to shallower water where they were able to anchor.
Although it seems the situation with the engines has been rectified and praise was offered to the Captain and crew for their actions, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate said there are several aspects of the incident that will require additional follow-up.
MS Kong Harald comes in at 11,204 gross tonnes and has capacity for 590 passengers. The ship was originally built in 1993 and underwent a major refurbishment in 2016.
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