30 foot waves and tropical storm-force winds, that is what battered the Viking Sky off the coast of Norway in March. The cruise ship eventually lost power and could not even steer.
Aboard the Sky were Shannon and Daniel Flewelling of Norwich, celebrating their 40th anniversary.
“The waves were so big that we were kind of caught in this boat and if it capsized we had no way of getting anywhere,” Shannon said.” They were trying to get a few ships to helps us and one of the ships that came actually needed to be rescued themselves.”
The Flewellings watched as furniture slid around, ceiling panels collapsed, and glass shattered. They were told to head to their muster station, where you would assemble to get on lifeboats, but the waves were too rough for lifeboats. Instead they sat there for hours, freezing water swirling around them.
“So it was just very very scary we were actually on there in the assembly area for almost eighteen hours before we finally were airlifted off,” said Shannon Flewelling.
They were among 400 passengers rescued by helicopter, but even then, they say their ordeal continued. They both got influenza A within days, and Daniel kept getting worse.
“He can’t walk or utilize his legs and because he has the trach tube, he also has to have a feeding tube,” Shannon said.
The Flewellings are now part of a lawsuit saying weather forecasts clearly showed a serious storm forming. a kind of bomb cyclone, basically a tropical storm but far from the tropics. Other cruise ships delayed their departures or changed direction to avoid it, but the suit says Viking sent the Sky right into it.
The lawsuit contends passengers were “subjected to hours of terror, unsanitary conditions, lack of ventilation, and trauma as they feared for their lives…all of which could have been easily avoided if Defendants VIKING simply waited to sail until after the severe winter storm passed.”
“We were in a situation where moment to moment, we didn’t know if we would make it,” Shannon explained.
A spokesperson for Viking tells ABC News they can’t comment on pending legal action, but said Viking’s Chairman met the Sky when it docked and promised all guests a thorough investigation and full reimbursement.
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