Floating sauna guests wearing only towels rescue duo after car plunges into fjord


Guests on board a floating sauna helped rescue two people after their car plunged off a quay into a fjord in Oslo.

The vehicle shot into the water at speed on Thursday near the Akershusstranda, an area where ships dock close to the Norwegian capital’s medieval fortress and castle.

A witness told Norway’s VG newspaper that the car was stationary before it suddenly accelerated and ended up in the water.

The driver is reported to have hit the accelerator by mistake.

As the car sank, the motorist and their passenger climbed onto its roof – as the sauna raft sped over to help.

The captain of the vessel, Nicholay Nordahl, told VG he “gave full throttle toward the people who came climbing out of the car” and reached them just as the vehicle went under.

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A couple of sauna guests, said to have only been wearing towels, then helped pull them aboard.

“With good help from two of the guests, we got them up. They warmed up [afterwards] in the sauna,” Mr Nordahl added.

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Another witness, Vladislav Nikirov, said it was lucky that someone came to help them. “If there hadn’t been people there, I’m afraid of what could have happened, they could have died,” he said.

He told VG one person got out of the car first, while the other screamed for help.

It was “like a horror film,” Mr Nikirov added.

A car is retrieved from the water after driving out into the Oslofjord, in Oslo, Norway, Thursday Feb. 1, 2024. (Hakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix via AP)
Image: Emergency crews at the scene. Pic: Hakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix via AP

Electric-powered wooden sauna rafts are a popular attraction at the fjord, allowing people to take part in the much-loved Scandinavian pastime while enjoying the natural beauty of the area – along with the opportunity to take a dip in the icy waters.

The car was later recovered from the water by emergency crews.