Couple braved gunfire to rescue 40 in water at Utoya
By Tony Paterson Published in The Independent on Wednesday, August 3, 2011
A married couple are being hailed as the heroines of Norway's Utoya island massacre after it emerged that they rescued 40 youngsters from chilly fjord waters as their boat was sprayed by Anders Breivik's bullets.
Norwegians Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen were among dozens of campers spending the summer at the Utviken campsite overlooking Utoya island when Mr Breivik arrived on the afternoon of 22 July and began shooting dead Norwegian Labour Party youth members who were attending a summer camp.
Ms Dalen recalled how the couple were sitting enjoying a meal when they were suddenly interrupted by alarming noises from across the water.
"We were eating, then came sounds of shooting and then the awful screaming," she told Finland's Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. "We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake."
The two women ran to the campsite's jetty where a dozen or so boats were moored. They were among several other campers who took their boats to a patch of water in front of Utoya island, where terrified youngsters were trying to swim away from Mr Breivik's gunfire.
Ms Dalen and Ms Hansen pulled the young swimmers aboard and ferried them back to the campsite. There were so many in the water that they made four sorties. Between runs they were shocked to notice that the side of their boat had been struck by Mr Breivik's bullets. The Utviken campers pulled a total of 150 young people from the fjord. ...