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Bullets hit the water as I fished people out..they were crying but so brave; ?hero saved 20 In rented Boat ?BodIes floated By In Icy lake.

Byline: RYAN PARRY; ANDREW GREGORY

AS ANGUISHED families gathered near Utoya island to pray for their missing children, stories began to emerge of how passing heroes had plucked youngsters to safety.

Dozens were rescued from the water by brave onlookers, as evil Anders Behring Breivik took potshots at them.

One selfless German holidaymaker may have saved 20 lives.

Roofer Marcel Gleffe, 32, who works in Norway, was preparing to go to the island with his parents when the bloodbath began. He said: "We heard shots on the island. I had a small red boat I had rented for the week and fired it up.

"The people in the water were so brave. They shouted: 'Don't come closer!' Bullets hit the water as I fished people out.

"But I was simply on autopilot. I saw more and more people on the cliffs on the island jumping into the water.

"I had a telescope, trained it on the island and saw the assassin sitting on rocks picking people off. He also shot at those in the water. I threw life jackets to those in most need. The water was very cold.

"I pulled as many as I could into the boat. They were all crying but all helped one another. They showed extraordinary mutual courage. It was unbelievable to witness their bravery.

"I dropped some on the shore and went back and back again. Campers plunged into the water with whatever would float. I think I got about 20 to shore."

Mr Gleffe said gunman Breivik, 32, was "so evil that he called out to those he thought were getting away that he would 'save them'."

After being hailed by police for his efforts, he insisted: "What I did was the normal reaction of one human being helping out others in need."

Another boater, Otto Loevik, had to decide who to take and who to leave behind as bullets whistled past his vessel. He saved about 50 and threw lifejackets to those he could not pick up.

His wife Wenche said: "He remembers the faces of the youths he left behind."

Mrs Loevik, who comforted the children as they arrived on the mainland, added: "Most of them were terrified.

They did not know whether they could trust us.

"They were crying, trembling, hysterical. "Eventually they did. One kid asked me: 'Can I get a hug?' I wonder how many more kids would be dead if we hadn't been there."

People were still missing last night from both the island and Oslo city centre. Body parts remained inside a building blown up in the capital, while at least six young people were missing from Utoya and feared dead.

Police confirmed another person had died after the gunman opened fire at a summer youth camp on Friday.

There were more than 600 people on the tiny island at the time of the attack. Some are feared to have drowned while desperately trying to swim to safety.

The uncle of one girl still missing, who asked not to be named, said: "We are still waiting, we are still hoping."

Two girls yesterday left flowers at the pier near the island. Both were pals with some of those killed.

Mathilde Fendeland, 15, of Honefoss, said: "We wanted to be there to pay our respects and remember our friends."

Oona Victoria Kaiser Dalen, also 15, added: "We need to continue as before."

At Oslo's Lutheran cathedral yesterday, hundreds of people laid flowers and lit candles to commemorate the dead, many of whom were children.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was joined by King Harald V, Queen Sonja and Princess Mette-Marit at a memorial service in the cathedral.

Mr Stoltenberg gave a moving speech during which he to was close to tears.

He said: "I am impressed over how much dignity, care and strength we have. We are a small country, but we are a proud people. We are still shaken, but we will never give up our values. Our answer is more democracy and openness." After the service, crowds of people hugged each other in the streets of the city.

The royal couple and the Prime Minister later visited the site of the bombing in the capital.

Tributes were left at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London yesterday, where the national flag flew at half mast.

Lord Mayor Niall O Donnghaile will open a book of condolence at Belfast city hall at 10am today.

The Lord Mayor will lead the city in sending their sympathies to the Norwegian people. The book will remain open for members of the public to sign.

And SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie announced there will be a book of condolence at the party's headquarters on the Ormeau Road in Belfast today.

Members of the Norwegian Labour Party, a sister party of the SDLP, came under attack and lost their lives during the horror.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI yesterday said he was issuing a heartfelt appeal for people to "abandon hatred once and for all" and renounce what he calls "the logic of evil".

CAPTION(S):

TEARS Princess in Oslo SHOCKED JTears flowed at memorial RESCUEJ Marcel Gleffe plucked 20 youngsters from the water PAYING RESPECTS Crowds surround a carpet of flowers in Oslo. Families left tributes near Utoya, above UNITED IN GRIEFJ Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg looks on as a Utoya survivor is comforted at Oslo service
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2011
Words:894
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