ROXBOROUGH PARK, Colo. — When a cruise ship began swaying wildly in the sea, a Colorado couple held on as best they could.
Steve and Shelly Eitel of Roxborough Park were two of the hundreds of people rescued from the Viking Sky when it became stranded off the coast of Norway more than 400 miles north from where it was supposed to make its next stop.
Shelly Eitel and her husband were getting lunch on the pool deck, when a soup cauldron came off the stove and everything went flying.
"We went flying on our couches and chairs to the other side of the deck," Shelly Eitel said. "I mean we lost our food obviously, but everything was going everywhere."
Eating her salad became the least of her worries as 30-foot high waves crashed into the ship.
"And the old saying the ship is taking on water came to mind, that was quite frightening," Shelly Eitel said.
The Viking Sky Cruise ship lost engine power.
Bad weather made it too dangerous for rescues in lifeboats, so Shelly Eitel and her husband were two of the 475 passengers airlifted by helicopter and brought to land in Norway.
"I am eternally grateful that we were on the helicopter," she said.
Hundreds had to wait hours for the boat to be towed to shore.
Viking Ocean Cruises, which owns the Viking Sky, has not said why the engine failed. The company will also be canceling the ship's next cruise scheduled in three days.
Despite this experience, the Eitels said it was a fantastic cruise.
They said they hope to still make their scheduled flight home from London on Tuesday.
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