TROY — To celebrate their upcoming 50th anniversary, Carol and Glen Ressler treated themselves to a 12-day Viking cruise off the coast of Norway to view the Northern lights.
What they didn’t sign up for was a dramatic helicopter rescue from their distressed cruise liner.
The Resslers, now safe at home in Troy, reflected on their cruise experience, which made international headlines. News outlets reported the Norway Maritime Authority reported low oil levels were the cause of the engine failure that stranded thousands of passengers, including the Resslers.
Carol explained they were part of the group that were airlifted off the ship off the Norway coast last week. The ship was also caught in rough seas with reported wind gust of up to 43 mph and waves up to 26 feet.
With only the coats on their backs, the Resslers were two of the 479 passengers lifted off the ship on to helicopters last Saturday. The crew was able to restart the ship engines and made it to a Norwegian port with the remaining 900 passengers and crew on board.
Carol said the volunteers on land from the Red Cross were “so great” off the coast of Norway.
“The volunteers came from everywhere. There were more volunteers than people. They had food, they had water, they made sure we were dry,” she said.
The couple was then bused to a small town to a hotel to stay for the night. The cruise liner gave vouchers to passengers to gather the essentials and clean clothes before they were transported to Oslo and back to their homes.
Carol said they were unaware of the media coverage of their voyage, including dramatic footage of the helicopter rescues in high winds. Carol said they were in touch with their three children and family members by Sunday who had watched the news reports of their plight.
In spite of their whole ordeal, the Resslers — who will officially celebrate their anniversary in July — haven’t sworn off life at sea completely.
“We love it and we’ll go again, but not anytime soon,” she said.
Carol also raved about their cruise experience prior to the mayday and mayhem at the end of their trip. “It was a beautiful area of Norway — just beautiful,” she said.
The couple had previously traveled to Iceland in hopes to see the Northern Lights on a prior cruise, which led to them booking this Viking Sky cruise in hopes to see the lights at sea.
“Yes, we did get to see the Northern Lights. We saw them on the first night at sea. They were spectacular, but I think we are done looking for them,” she said with a laugh.