Lesbian couple saved 40 teenagers in Norway massacre

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A married lesbian couple have been commended for saving the lives of 40 teenagers in Norway’s massacre two weeks ago.

Toril Hansen and Hege Dalen were having dinner on the shore opposite the island of Utoya when they heard shots ring out and screaming.

They saw young people running into Lake Tyrifjorden as Anders Behring Breivik opened fire on the Norwegian Labour Party camp.

In a stunning act of bravery, the couple got in their boat and started towards the island.

Hansen and Dalen made four runs across the lake, each time picking up injured, frightened and dazed youngsters while Breivik shot at – and hit – the sides of the boat.

Dalen told Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat: “We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake.”

While other acts of heroism have emerged from the massacre, Hansen and Dalen’s actions have been largely unreported until now.

The LGBT blogTalk About Equality asked: “If a married lesbian couple saves 40 teens from the Norway massacre and no-one writes about it, did it really happen? … The heavy hitters who usually kill for hero stories like this have remained silent.”

Tom Chivers, of the Daily Telegraph, wrote: “Have the media ignored a gold-plated tale of bravery and heroism just because they don’t like the sexual orientation of the protagonists? I don’t know, obviously.

“But it’s not as though it’s just traditionally minded, conservative news organisations, who might be expected to have misgivings about homosexual marriage, which have not reported on Mrs Hansen and Mrs Dalen’s heroism.”

Breivik has admitted to killing 77 people on the island and in Oslo on July 22nd.

He surrendered when surrounded by police and remains in custody.