ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona couple rescued by helicopter from ‘cruise from hell’ in Norway

Mar 29, 2019, 4:25 AM | Updated: 11:34 am
(Svein Ove Ekornesvag/NTB scanpix via AP)...
(Svein Ove Ekornesvag/NTB scanpix via AP)
(Svein Ove Ekornesvag/NTB scanpix via AP)

PHOENIX — One Arizona couple is relieved to be back in the desert after they survived last weekend’s “cruise from hell” in Norway.

“I am home and feeling blessed to be home,” Pamela Meyerhoffer of Litchfield Park told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Thursday.

What started out as a normal, 12-day Viking Sky cruise carrying 1,373 people quickly turned into panic when the engine failed, causing the ship to be stranded off of Norway’s frigid North Sea coast during a massive “bomb cyclone” storm Saturday.

“Well there was very rough seas, but we didn’t really know it was terribly wrong until the captain sounded the general alarm, and we all had to go to our muster station and put on our life jackets,” Meyerhoffer said.

She said at one point during the storm, the ship was lifting by about 40 degrees while it rocked from side to side.

“But the problem for us came when we got sideways to the wave, and a giant wave hit us broadside, and it burst through the door,” she said.

“And this squall of water just came in and totally overwhelmed us, knocked us all around. I was underwater, people were on top of me because they were pushed around, so it was pretty frightening.”

Meyerhoffer said the wave filled the room to the ceiling, and it left more than a foot of water on the floor when it receded.

She and her husband John were evacuated by helicopter the next morning because of her injuries, then taken to hospital in Norway.

“My husband was in the Navy, so he’s tough. He has a couple bruises,” she said.

“I have a broken toe and a broken rib and sprained wrist and things like that, a slash on the back of my ankle but it didn’t cut the Achilles. They stitched me up at the hospital, so all things considered, I’m happy to be alive.”

People had to be rescued by helicopter because waves up to 26-feet-high were smacking into the ship, ruling out an evacuation by boat.

The ship’s harrowing weekend ordeal injured dozens of people, including 36 who were admitted to hospitals.

Four people from the ship remained hospitalized Wednesday, including one being treated in an intensive care ward in critical but stable condition, Norwegian health officials said.

The rescue operation ended Sunday when the engines restarted, after 479 passengers had been airlifted to land.

The ship, originally scheduled to reach Britain on Tuesday, traveled under its own power to a Norwegian port with nearly 900 passengers and crew members remaining onboard.

The country’s top maritime official said Wednesday that the engine failure was caused by a low level of lubricating oil.

Meyerhoffer said she and her husband have been on about 30 cruises, and they haven’t decided to cancel the next one they have scheduled for the Baltics in June.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The Colorado River winds its way along the West Rim of the Grand Canyon in the Hualapai Indian Rese...
Associated Press

Grand Canyon starting water limitations after pumphouse outage

Grand Canyon National Park is starting water conservation measures on the North Rim due to an electrical failure involving the Roaring Springs pumphouse.
17 hours ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Danny Shapiro

National Guard sets up barricade around Arizona Capitol following abortion ruling protests

The Arizona National Guard has set up razor-wire fencing around the Capitol complex in downtown Phoenix following protests over the weekend in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortions.
17 hours ago
Traffic stops as thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court o...
Associated Press

Groups want court to block Arizona ‘personhood’ law in wake of Roe ruling

An emergency motion was filed seeking to block a 2021 Arizona “personhood” law that abortion rights supporters fear will be used to halt all abortions.
17 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...
Kevin Stone

Sinkhole almost swallows car after pipe breaks on Phoenix street

A motorist escaped uninjured after driving into a sinkhole that opened up after a pipe broke under a Phoenix street Sunday night.
17 hours ago
From left, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (Getty Images Photo) and House Minority Leader Regina...
Kevin Stone

Arizona party leaders laud state budget as bipartisan achievement

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Arizona House both came out of budget negotiations with good things to say about the agreement.
17 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)...
KTAR.com

Crews take on 4 fires in 2 hours as storms move across Phoenix

Phoenix firefighters responded to a flurry of fires over a two-hour span Sunday as thunderstorms moved across the Valley.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Arizona couple rescued by helicopter from ‘cruise from hell’ in Norway