Officials at an Oslo marina now say that as many as 150 boats apparently have been used by intruders for temporary lodging and storage of stolen goods this winter. The intruders, suspected of being migrant petty thieves from abroad, have trashed and vandalized the boats in the process.
Security guards told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that it’s been difficult to catch the intruders, because they creep into the boats that have been brought ashore and covered under heavy tarps in winter storage. Even though guards patrol the marina’s boatyard at Sjølyst in Oslo’s Skøyen district, they haven’t been able to immediately detect whether quiet intruders were actually living illegally in the boats.
The intruders have made a mess of many of them. “They have filled up the boat’s toilets and then used buckets as their toilets, eventually dumping their urine and feces out on the boats’ decks, under the tarps,” Nils Erik Nilsson, maintenance chief at the marina, told NRK. “The boats are also full of garbage, remains of food and cigarette butts, and in some, the stink is terrible.”
Police, who have arrested a few migrant Roma folk in the boatyard since the first cases of vandalism were discovered earlier this winter, have also recovered stolen goods aboard many of the boats.
Some of the boats reportedly need total renovation, while several owners in despair feel their pleasure craft have been ruined and they never want to use them again. “I can understand that,” Nilsson told boating magazine Båtliv, which has written about the vandalism that started cropping up last fall.
Insurance adjusters were assessing much of the damage this week, while the marinas and their security firms are considering investing in the use of surveillance sensors that would be set off by the warmth of a human body. That may be the only way, they say, to monitor intruders who try to hide aboard the roughy 1,700 boats at the marina.