A cruise ship off of the coast of Norway began evacuating more than 1,300 passengers and crew members on Saturday after sending out a distress signal.
A spokeswoman for the Joint Rescue Centre for Southern Norway told CNN that the Viking Sky cruise ship sent out the mayday signal due to “engine problems in bad weather.”
The spokesperson added that about 115 people had been airlifted off the ship on Saturday, eight with “minor injuries,” and that rescue operations would continue through the night and Sunday.
In a statement to PEOPLE, a Viking spokesman said the ship was carrying 915 guests and 458 crew when it experienced a “loss of engine power off the coast of Norway near Molde.”
“Our first priority was for the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew, and in close cooperation with the Norwegian Coast Guard, the captain decided to evacuate all guests from the vessel by helicopter,” the Viking spokesman added, noting that the “evacuation is proceeding with all necessary caution” despite the injuries.
According to the Associated Press, authorities told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK that the stormy weather was preventing rescue workers from using lifeboats as rescue vehicles.
“We are working closely with the relevant authorities and all operational procedures were followed in line with international regulations,” Viking said, adding that the company has dispatched an operational task force to Molde.
The cruise line said anyone with concerns about passengers aboard the ship can look for updates on its website.
RELATED: Cruise Passengers Injured After ‘Extreme Gust of Wind’ Causes Ship to Tilt Sideways
CNN reported that the ship was secured with one anchor and workers were attempting to get more than one engine running on Saturday. The outlet added that five helicopters and “a number of vessels” were helping with rescue efforts.
The ship was in the Hustadsvika waters off Norway’s west coast, an area “known for fierce weather and shallow waters dotted with reefs,” Reuters reported.
RELATED VIDEO: Cruise Ship Battered by Rough Waters Due to Hurricane Michael
The NRK, via the AP, reported that the helicopter evacuation was a dangerous a