When the shooting started on the island Utoya in Norway, where over 500 young people were at a AUF (the youth wing of the Labour Party) summer camp, a German tourist sprang into action after he heard gun shots and saw smoke coming from the island.
Marcel Gleffe was on a holiday on the mainland staying at a campsite. When he heard gunfire and saw smoke he raced to his boat and headed for the island.
Theblogismine.com quotes Gleffe as saying, “I just did it on instinct. You don’t get scared in a situation like that, you just do what it takes. I know the difference between fireworks and gunfire.”
He added, “I knew what it was about, and that it wasn’t just nonsense.”
Gleffe could see two youths who were swimming away from the island and when he looked through his binoculars he saw more people in the water.
As he headed into the gunfire, he was throwing lifejackets to those in the water. Glaffe said some of the young people said, "Are you police, are you police?" Others yelled, "terrorist, terrorist, terrorist!" He was told by some the gunman was a police officer.
Using his binoculars to watch for the gunman, he got his boat close to the shore and helped people out of the water.
"I took between four and five trips," Gleffe told the Daily Mail. "After that the police asked me to stop. The youths were good. They supported each other and were organised, and said who needed first aid and who had to be taken into the boat first."
The police asked him to stop as they feared for his safety.
Glaffe was able to save the lives of thirty people even though they weren't sure who could be trusted.
The Telegraph reports Glaffe said, "Cooperation with the police and rescue crews afterwards was very good, but it all came too late. The first time I was out I was all alone."