Industry Report

Retired alpine legend Lasse Kjus rescues 6 off Norway coast{mosimage}OSLO, Norway – Former Olympic alpine ski champion Lasse Kjus rescued six people from a boat that sank in a place known as ”the end of the world” in the outermost tip of the Oslo fjord on Sunday, a rescue service official said.

The boat, with six people onboard, sank just off the island of Tjoeme, about 120 kilometers (74.6 miles) southwest of the capital, after hitting a rock in the water, said Bjorn Magnussen, an official at the Joint Rescue Center for southern Norway.

”About four o’clock in the morning the local police informed us that a small pleasure craft was taking water,” Magnussen said. ”We asked the coastal radio to issue a mayday relay broadcast and we launched a local pilot boat, a rescue vessel and a voluntary ship from the Red Cross.”

The rescue services had, however, little work to do because ”as they were approaching the scene they saw a small skerry vessel, owned by Kjus, that accidentally noticed the castaways on a rock and safely drew them to a dwarf nearby,” said Soelve Tanke Hovden, another rescue worker.

The victims of the accident, cold but relatively unharmed, had abandoned the wreck and reached a tiny rock nearby, he said, adding that ”they were lucky that anyone saw them since it was in the middle of the night and dark.”

Kjus, 35, the 1994 Olympic champion in the combined event and a 16-time medalist in Olympic and World Championships competition, didn’t do anything different from what any ordinary seaman would have done at sea, officials said.

Police said in a press release that the skipper of the sunken 7.3-meter (24-foot) pleasure boat would be charged for drunk driving.

The whole rescue operation did not take more than a few minutes, officials said.

Local residents refer to the place of the mishap as the ”end of the world” because beyond the mainland there are only rocks and the waters of the Skagerrak strait, between Norway and Sweden.

– The Associated Press

Article Tags: Industry Report
Aug 1 2006
Ski Racing magazine

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