Lowcountry woman on solid ground after Norwegian cruise mayday call

Updated: Mar. 28, 2019 at 4:38 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On Thursday, the Norwegian Maritime Authority announced that the investigation into the Norwegian Viking Sky cruise ship that issued a mayday over the weekend now has answers.

The NMA told the Associated Press that the ship’s engines shut down because of a lack of oil getting to the engine.

In the report, the NMA says the ship showed a low oil level that was still within the limits of safety, but since the waves rocked the ship so heavily, the oil may not have been getting to the engine correctly.

One Daniel Island woman was on that ship and says she is thankful to be on solid ground after being in a life jacket on high alert for over 30 hours.

She says at first the waves seemed normal since she didn’t know any better, but quickly realized that they were actually in danger.

“We were all put in life jackets quickly after getting code echo it was an emergency,” says Elsa Dixon, the Charleston passenger on the ship.

She says everyone was moved to safer areas on the inside of the ship. She said she and the people on her floor were moved to the theater and were told to put on life jackets and that’s where they stayed until the chaos was over.

“It was a serious situation they radioed for helicopters to come airlift us one by one,” Dixon says.

At the end of the entire rescue there were 479 people rescued by helicopters and over 30 people taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

When they were told to get out of their rooms, Dixon says she grabbed her passport and credit cards and ran. She says her only fear was being airlifted while wearing her slip on shoes and light-weight pants since she thought she would not only freeze, but lose her shoes in the high winds. The Authority reported winds of up to 43 mph on the day of the rescue.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority released Thursday that the ship was in trouble because of a lower than normal oil level. Dixon says that was just a technical issue and there was nothing that could have been done differently. She says because of that, she is more than ready to go on another trip.

“I would go again. I’m ready for the next cruise,” Dixon says. “I’m already thinking which one will I take.”

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