Police in Norway’s Nordre Buskerud stopped the sales of the red ‘Utøya boat’ on Thursday, after a storm of criticism.

A month after the massacre on Utøya, the corps wanted to get rid of its ‘black sheep’: the rubber boat with which a SWAT team tried unsuccessfully to reach the island on 22 July 2011. A lawyer for one of the Utøya survivors, among others, did not think that was a good idea.

“The boat is a piece of evidence. The sale is part of a long, incomprehensible series of actions by the police during and after the events of 22 July,” lawyer Arne Seland told Norwegian national broadcaster NRK.

The Zodiac II 550 from 1998 became world news partly thanks to amateur images. It showed the clearly overloaded boat. The 75-horsepower engine gave out. Private boats came to the rescue and brought the officers to the island, where they detained gunman Anders Behring Breivik.

According to the French manufacturer, the dinghy can handle a maximum of ten adults, not counting extra kilos of bulletproof protection and weapons of an arrest team. According to a spokesperson, the old boat is ideal for recreational divers and had to yield at least 550 euros. More than 2500 euros had already been offered.

The Nordre Buskerud corps hoped the sale could cover part of the costs of two better boats purchased at the end of July. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch on 25 August 2011)