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JULY 22: In my opinion, the police could have panicked

THE EQUIPMENT / I transported 24 battered, shock-injured young people to safety on the mainland from Utøya. Several times I led the boat out to this hell on earth. Where were the police?


(Photo: rescue of young people in ILaug's boat, July 22. Copyright MODERN TIMES / Kasper ILaug)

The girl formally leaned against the side of the boat – where she lay with her back up. Curved like one who plunges into the water. She was wearing a white bra and panties. Her life could not be saved.

I did not know I was going to get the world's attention through CNNs live broadcast, Eight O'Clock News, where on the night of July 23, I was led through a nearly ten-minute account of my participation in the rescue work during the terrorist attack on Utøya. The live broadcast was created with the help of technology, coincidences and expert guidance from the world's largest and in my opinion best news communicator. In about 10 subsequent interviews in different places, I also gave a thorough and calm account of my efforts to transport 24 shocked people. AUFyoung people in safety from Utoya, from both Stoltenberget, Bolshevik and the pump house. The distance to the safe mainland was 600-800 meters along Beached out. Conceived, but in processing my shocks, I have since found my way back to my own safe ground, but it took 10 years of my adult life. [see survey, ed.anm.].

The event

On Utøya I saw six or seven young people lying in different positions on the beach. They lay completely still. There was nothing I could do.

Copyright MODERN TIMES / Kasper ILaug

A little further on, I took a picture of what I thought were some clothes that had been thrown in a pile, between some stones – it turned out in retrospect that there were two young people who had clustered together. They died there, tightly embraced in the moment of despair. I first saw that there were two people only many months later, on a larger graphic computer screen [see the picture] – when I managed to take a closer look at the pictures I had taken with an old mobile. They clung to each other, but were shot to pieces by a semi-automatic weapon. At close range. All I could do then was pray to our Father.

"Was God on Utøya?" someone once asked me. I answered "yes". A girl later described to me simply the moment of liberation from the mighty anxiety that the terrorist's actions inflicted on her. She had found a hiding place under some bushes and trees. There she lay, breathing heavily and feeling her pulse pounding in her neck. She said she thought of her mother and father, her siblings and life – as a green leaf in the wind caught her attention. She chose to understand that the heart-shaped leaf was a divine sign that it was going to go well. It went well for her.

Copyright MODERN TIMES / Kasper ILaug

For my own part out there in hell, I asked similar questions in a demanding moment. Dear God, is it my turn to die today? ” "No, your time has not come, I will take care of you," I formally heard where the warmth and security spread in the body like true love. I had a task to do.

I was three times completely inside Utøya this rainy Friday. I defied my fear and drove the boat out to this hell on earth. I understood that my body wanted to take care of me, and focused on the most important thing: getting as many young people as possible into safety.

The official who did not want to go to Utøya

The efforts of volunteer rescue women and men along Utstranda were crucial. Many lives were saved. An estimated 30 ambulances were parked on the road. But they were denied access to the beach area at Utvika Camping and the ferry site – where the final memorial site after the terrorist attack will be located.

Getting to the emergency medical communication center (AMK) by telephone online was difficult. Sirens and lights could still be observed from a distance. Professionals did not know what to do – they were denied access and thus access to the needy and shocked who we volunteers had brought to safety on the mainland.

That's it politiofficials in full combat protection with automatic weapons, helmets and bulletproof uniforms directed the traffic. They talked to some of us at the pier below Lien farm – they found no boats. But we sat in boats.

#Terje Lien #, who owns Lien farm, offered one of them a ride over to the shores of Utøya – where the terrorist later executed the innocent young people who had lost their way on the beach in despair. Lien had just been halfway out to Utøya with a helper and picked up some frightened young people on the run from the terrorist. They swam in the water, which only kept 14 degrees. But the official would not. There is a photograph where he stands and points as another group arrives at the safe stone pier below Lien farm. A jolt of young people, who had rowed over to safety in Reiulf, the old lifeboat. The boat was shelled in the panic of slow gliding to Lien farm and freedom. The heroes there, then. They talked there with the power. With security in the form of the police in bulletproof equipment.

The judiciary and the police directorate

What happened on Utøya, can not be told enough about. Many have expressed anger and contempt at the authorities' inability to take care of the civilian population. That is their most important task. We are many who are angry with the authorities, but we dove it in different ways.

In Oslo, one could have protection in the direction of travel towards the government building in Grubbegata and parking barriers next to the public building that the high-rise block represents. One of the most important in our country. This is mentioned as simple measures that could have been implemented under the responsibility of the then Minister Rigmor Aasrud. She served as Minister in the Ministry of Renewal, Administration and Church Affairs – this cumbersome name.

In this context, no one other than the terrorist has been the subject of legal proceedings. The trial itself was for me a superb display of dignity and discipline. Very good. I was so impressed by the exercise that I volunteered for community service – my eight years as a co-judge in Oslo District Court have left its mark. I am still very impressed with a body that worked satisfactorily then – and will help to maintain this.

But another instance I am not as proud of. Four out of five leaders in the Police Directorate were relocated or promoted in the dishes after the fatal bridal party between Grete Faremo and Øystein Mæland, the Minister of Defense and the Director of Police, respectively, when the tragedy took place. Mæland, poor thing, had only been in the position for a month when it slammed and took the whole bear, his hat and went.

And the salary increases that some civil servants in the directorate have received in the last decade probably correspond to what the relatives after Utøya and the Government Quarter received for their dead after The compensation for violence. It was about 300 kroner – for a lifetime… But Statistics Norway estimates that the value of what a person contributes during their lifetime is 000 million kroner. I know that some of the relatives did not accept the sum of money they were offered. Others referred to them as blood money and some have the money in the account pending legal proceedings after the July 17 events.

How much can we tolerate?

Where did everyone who was injured in the soul, in the body and in the head as a result of the terrorist attack go? Where is the follow-up of those who are not visible or audible? A relative from Hamar I met, went through a divorce, lost his house and eventually lost his life in a heart attack.

I myself now understand with the years after the terrorist attack on July 22 what it is like to live with PTSD may be.

(Ilaug in the boat on the way to Utøya. Copyright MODERN TIMES / Kasper ILaug)

How difficult and demanding is it to see dead people? Many have asked me how it was out there. I often answer briefly, "Heavy." Or ask a counter-question: "Have you ever been in a car accident where bone pipes and blood leak between metal and rubber?" For in the midst of it lies a helpless human being who fixes his gaze and whispers, "Help me!" Can you imagine many more like this, and at the same time? Can you imagine how your own blood is pumped up into your head with a force that makes you hear the throbbing of the main pulse at the back of your neck like a giant ship's engine? Dunk. Dunk. Dunk. You get tunnel vision that distances and ignores everything else insignificant. Your breathing may go into spasm or into calm rhythmic movements where the diaphragm does the job. You can be incredibly grasped.

The police withdrew

The police arrived late. We volunteers were in the war zone where the authorities would not go in – or send professional paramedics (AMK). The authorities thought it was too dangerous and unsafe. At the same time, adults and children stood and received on the pier at Utvika Camping, inside the dangerous zone that could be reached by the shooting. The police should have evacuated the entire campsite as well. My opinion is that the police could have panicked.

Copyright MODERN TIMES / Kasper ILaug

For example, volunteers stood Robert Johnsen # ready with boat keys at 18.05 on the pier at Utvika Camping. The police Delta troop turned around – see the picture below which shows them in the back next to Johnsen's car, 45 meters away, where they waved with the keys in hand. They backed out. Retreated.

Those who endured this fatal Friday will become the true heroes. Everyone. Some of us got appreciations and it has done well. But many more should have been appreciated and taken care of.

Let us together lift this to a level of understanding, competence, forgiveness and reconciliation. This with respect and consideration for all those who were injured and killed on July 22, 2011. Not to forget all the relatives and affected who are left behind. They all deserve it.


See also about two new documentaries on og

Useful therapy

Bjørn Kasper ILaug

After the experiences on Utøya, I was received by the public assistance apparatus. But it became more of a burden than a help. Fortunately, I had extensive experience in in-depth personality development and participation in competence-building activities under private auspices – both in Norway and abroad.

After Utøya, I was offered general psychotherapy combined with medication. For my part, I chose non-drug treatment. In the months after the psychotherapy, I fished in the Tyrifjord. I rented a heavy excavator and dug holes in holes in the ground on the plot after our parents on Storøya. There lies our childhood valley with security cemented in wonderful summer experiences. Storøya is one of three islands in the Tyrifjord lying three kilometers north of Utøya.

I lived there all fall in harmony with and by nature. Inhaled the clear autumn air and later walked barefoot in the snow around the island. My interior was a volcano.

I also benefited greatly from practicing and experiencing redemption through what we refer to as medical qigong. My teacher Grand Master James Nysted, natural medicine and former principal at the Nordic Acupuncture School continues the tradition that Grand Master Peng took to the USA, Canada and Europe. Western Academy of Medical Qigong.

There are more than 500 members in the Western Academy of Medical Qigong. These train in  the system individually or in groups. Some work with treatment in alternative directions such as acupuncture, various forms of massage – and then with medical Qigong. Ordinary people such as doctors, dentists and bureaucrats – retirees or athletes also practice this form of Qigong which is a form of energy balancing. And some of them are healers.


PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder is a reaction to a severe or long-term mental trauma. Symptoms include re-experiencing the event, avoiding stimuli or situations associated with the event, and persistent mental activation.


Bjørn Kasper ILaug
Bjørn Kasper ILaug
Ilaug is educated in marketing and computer science. He made a name for himself for his participation in the rescue work during the terrorist attack on Utøya on July 22, 2011. Ilaug was among the volunteer helpers who were named "Name of the Year" by the newspaper VG in 2011 and who in 2012 were awarded the Torstein Dale Memorial Prize by the Red Cross in Norway, and honored by the Norwegian Lifesaving Society. In the King's Council of State on 15 June 2012, Ilaug was awarded the Medal for noble deed in silver.

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