OSLO, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Low oil pressure was the cause of engine halt on the cruise ship Viking Sky off Norway's western coast on Saturday, public broadcaster NRK reported Wednesday.
The cruise ship Viking Sky with 1,373 people on board sent out the mayday signal Saturday around 14:00 local time (1300 GMT) after having engine problems in the stormy weather at Hustadvika, a 19-km long section of coastline in Norway's western county of More og Romsdal.
"We can now conclude that the direct cause of the vessel's engine failure was low oil pressure. The level of lubricating oil on the tanks was within set limits, but relatively low, as the vessel set off from Hustadvika," Lars Alvestad, acting director of the Norwegian Maritime Authority, said at a press conference.
The heavy seas probably led to such large movements in the tanks that the lubricating oil pumps lost supply which triggered alarms and soon after that automatically shut down the engines, Elvestad explained.
"We have inspected the levels of lubricating oil on all our sister ships and we are now reviewing our procedures to ensure that this problem does not recur," the cruise ship company Viking Cruises wrote in a press release.
The Norway-registered cruise ship Viking Sky was on its way from Norway's northern city of Tromso to its southern city of Stavanger when the engine trouble took place, according to the website Marine Traffic.
After the ship sent out the mayday signal Saturday, rescue services decided to evacuate passengers aboard by using five helicopters. As of 10:00 a.m. on Sunday (0900 GMT), 479 people had been evacuated from the ship.
With three of its four engines back in operation on Sunday morning, the ship with 436 guests and 458 crew onboard started to go to the port of Molde, the administrative center of More og Romsdal, accompanied by two offshore supply ships and one tug assist vessel.
At 16:30 on Sunday (1530 GMT), the Viking Sky docked in the port of Molde, Viking Cruises said in a press release, adding "All passengers and crew are safe, and passengers will be flying home starting tonight."