SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Rio Vista woman who just wanted to go on vacation is now internet famous after surviving an ordeal at sea. The luxury cruise ship she was riding on was caught in a major storm, requiring passengers to be rescued one-by-one by helicopter crews.
Alexus Sheppard was one of the 1,300 people stranded on the cruise ship that got caught in 26-foot waves in the Norwegian Sea. She’s now safe in London and spoke to CBS13 about her adventure.
“It was terrifying for everybody. I mean, it was a situation where…there were times when we really thought we were gonna die,” Sheppard said.
As water poured into the Viking sky, passengers dodged flying furniture, grabbed life-jackets and waited for help to arrive. Helicopters pulled about half of the passengers off the ship, many of them senior citizens.
Sheppard told us she was happy to skip the helicopter ride and stay on board until the ship made it safely back to the shore.
“I think going up a cable 50 or a hundred feet into a noisy helicopter with the wind blowing 40 knots, the ship moving in the dark, did not sound like fun to me,” Sheppard said. “Our high moment was when the ship was docked. As soon as you’re tied up at a dock, you know you’re good.”
During the ordeal, Sheppard posted pictures and videos on social media that quickly spread all over the world.
“My mind is completely blown. I had no idea. Never had anything go viral before,” Sheppard said.
She got attention from many different news sources including Buzzfeed where an article titled, “I’m Obsessed With This Woman Tweeting About Being On That Stranded Cruise Ship.” Sheppard said the article was “sort of weirdly complementary.”
After all the attention and scary moments, Sheppard is thrilled she will soon be back home in Rio Vista.
“We’ve been in the snow for the last couple of weeks, so we’re ready to be home in the really, really nice, beautiful state of California,” Sheppard said.
Viking Cruises said passengers will be compensated and invited back for a free cruise. After all she went through on this trip, Sheppard said she will take Viking up on that offer.