KATY, Texas – It was a nightmare at sea.
Hundreds of people on a cruise ship were violently thrown side to side in a storm in Norway.
A Katy couple was on board the Viking Sky when it started rocking. They said it was a vacation they'll never forget.
Danny and Judith Bates said they were taking their 13th cruise together, but what they didn’t realize is that they would be one of the first to be rescued from the ship.
"We enjoy traveling so much and seeing the world," Danny Bates said.
Danny and Judith wanted see the Northern Lights and for six days on board the Viking Sky luxury cruise liner, they did just that.
"The second night on the ship they came out and from horizon to horizon, they were moving around," Danny Bates said. "We looked at each other and we said, 'We can go home now.'"
On the seventh day, the ship started rolling.
"Anything that wasn’t tied down would fall off ... we had broken glass and cameras rolling on the floor," Danny Bates said.
Soon, the captain sent out an emergency alert.
Strong winds caused the cruise liner to tilt while it was heading south along the Norwegian coast. Some passengers took video as the turbulent waves and brutal winds rocked the ship.
"All of these people (were) yelling and hanging on, which is quite frightening. That’s when it sunk in to both of us. I turned to him and said, 'I love you,'" Danny Bates said.
The Bateses made their way to the muster station and about 1,000 passengers were forced to evacuate.
"They put a harness on us and a few minutes we were airborne," Danny Bates said.
Danny and Judith were some of the first passengers to be airlifted off the ship.
"Very frightening. We were lifted on a helicopter sling, two of us together, and is was quite scary," Judith said.
Now back home in Texas, the couple says the experience didn't squelch their desire to explore the world. They said this was just another stop on the journey.
"An unexpected adventure. You have to look at it that way. There is no other way to be other than positive, because of the great outcome," Danny Bates said.
Danny and Judith Bates said Viking was incredibly accommodating and offered refunds after the incident. The couple said they plan to go on another cruise in the fall.