A German tourist is being hailed as a hero for rescuing at least 20 people from a gunman's rampage on Utoya island in Norway, according to media reports.
Marcel Gleffe, 32, was with his family Friday at a campground across the water from the island when he heard gunshots, Der Spiegel reported. He and his family looked out from the shore, thinking it might be fireworks, but instead they saw a plume of smoke and a girl swimming frantically in the water and screaming.Story: Doubt cast on Norway gunman's claim of more cells
Gleffe got into the boat he had rented and set off, Der Spiegel said. He was the first person to reach the island where Anders Behring Breivik gunned down dozens of youngsters at a summer camp.
"I just did it on instinct," Gleffe told The Telegraph newspaper.
"You don't get scared in a situation like that, you just do what it takes. I know the difference between fireworks and gunfire. I knew what it was about, and that it wasn't just nonsense."
He said many of the youths were suspicious and shouted, "Are you police, are you police?" Some of them reportedly shouted, "terrorist, terrorist, terrorist," as others tried to explain that the shooter was dressed in a police uniform.Video: Girl pretended to be dead, survived Norway attack (on this page)
"They were happy to get help, but they were unsure whom they could trust," he told the local Dagbladet newspaper, according to The Telegraph.
"There were people swimming everywhere in the water. I threw them lifejackets and pulled those into the boat who were having the most trouble. Everyone was screaming, but they were also helping each other," he told Der Spiegel.Slideshow: Norway mourns after massacre (on this page)
Gleffe made several trips to the island to rescue around six people each time for about an hour, when police finally arrived, a German English-language news website The Local reported. Other people from Gleffe's campsite also joined him and ferried people back to the mainland with their boats.
"Cooperation with the police and rescue crews afterwards was very good, but it all came too late," he said.
When police arrived, Gleffe stopped to think about himself for the first time, he told The Local.
"I was myself so frozen that I had to first warm myself up. I was turning blue," he said.
Meantime, the alleged killer appeared in court Monday , telling a judge that his bomb attack in Oslo and the camp shooting rampage was aimed at saving Europe from a Muslim takeover.
Police revised the death toll downward to 76 from 93, saying eight people were now known to have died in the bomb blast in central Oslo, and 68 on Utoya.
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