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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Heroic details emerge in boat drama

One of the survivors of a capsized boat off Norway’s southernmost tip has emerged as a hero after he reportedly got one fellow fishing buddy to land and then ran and swam between a chain of small islands to get help.

The man was one of six Danish men who were out fishing in a boat that capsized off the islands south of Mandal on Wednesday night. All six landed in the water, and they reportedly weren’t wearing life vests. Four remained missing on Thursday.

One of the six men, in his 20s, works as a lifesaver and managed to get hold of one of the men in the water and tow him to the nearest landfall, which was the small uninhabited island of Sandøy.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that he then left the man and ran to the other side of the island, where he jumped back into the sea to swim to the next island, Hellersøy. He ran over it and ultimately swam another much longer stretch of water to the island of Skjernøy, where he finally found a house where he could contact police, report the accident and get help.

“It’s been a strenuous rescue attempt for him,” Bjart Gabrielsen of the Mandal Police Station told NRK. “It’s a wonder that he made it.” His route required swimming at least three- to four kilometers in rough seas at night.

Both he and the man he towed to land were rushed to hospital in Kristiansand, where their condition was described as stable. Search and rescue efforts were continuing Thursday morning for the other four men, two of whom are believed to have drowned.

The search was hampered by stormy weather. Several boats, helicopters and ground crews from both the Norwegian Red Cross and Civil Defense were taking part.

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