Queen helps teens after boat accident

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Two teenagers out on a boat off the island of Tjøme this week came to the aid of an injured girl in the water, and they all ended up getting help from none other than Queen Sonja. She was spending her summer holidays at her family’s vacation home nearby.

Queen Sonja, shown here with two other girls on the island of Tjøme last month, has had a summer home nearby for many years. On Monday evening, she came to the aid of an injured boater and those who'd rescued her. This photo was taken when the queen formally opened the new Færder National Park Center at the southern tip of Tjøme in late June. PHOTO: Sven Gjeruldsen/Det kongelige hoff

Queen Sonja, shown here with two other girls on the island of Tjøme last month, has had a summer home nearby for many years. On Monday evening, she came to the aid of an injured boater who’d been brought to the royal compound. This photo was taken when the queen formally opened the new Færder National Park Center at the southern tip of Tjøme in late June. PHOTO: Sven Gjeruldsen/Det kongelige hoff

Randi Auran Neset from Skien and Markus Solberg Martinsen from Tønsberg, both age 19, told state broadcaster NRK on Thursday that they were enjoying an evening boat ride when they were alerted to the accident. A girl had fallen off another boat and gashed her leg on its propeller.

Martinsen decided that the wisest thing to do was to get her over to the royal family’s summer home at Mågerø off Tjøme’s northeast coast. “I figured that the police are always there and it would be easy for an ambulance to get in and pick up the girl,” he told NRK.

When they tied up on the royal pier, Neset hopped off and police arrived quickly, willing to help. Queen Sonja soon joined them and then ran up to her summer home to fetch dry clothes and drinks for her unexpected visitors.

Neset and Martinsen said they later stood on the pier chatting for nearly an hour with the queen, both about what had happened “and normal things. The queen asked for our names and where we were from,” Neset said. Both teenagers said they were impressed by the queen’s interest and kindness. “I thought afterwards, ‘wow, that was the queen!'” Neset told NRK, which was unable to get a condition report on the injured girl from either the local hospital or the emergency clinic in Tønsberg.

Sven Gjeruldsen, spokesman at the Royal Palace, didn’t want to comment on the incident but confirmed Queen Sonja had an unusual visit Monday evening at Mågerø. “I can confirm that the queen and the police escort helped the injured girl when she came to the royal pier at Mågerø,” Gjeruldsen told NRK.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund