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Friday, March 1, 2024

A Tesla crashed into Oslo’s harbor. A floating sauna came to the rescue.

Two occupants of a Tesla that drove off an Oslo pier into the freezing fjord below were quickly rescued Thursday — by a floating sauna.

Video shot by onlookers and obtained by Agence France-Presse shows two people crouching on the roof of the electric vehicle, which drifts in the water about 20 yards from the pier. As the car begins to sink, the blocky, houseboat-like sauna steams toward them, and its passengers help pull the two people onboard.

The Oslo police district confirmed on X, formerly Twitter, that two people were in the car and were rescued by a floating sauna.

The Tesla’s driver told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang that he thought the car was in park when he tapped the accelerator, shooting the car off the pier and into the harbor. Wire service photos showed a crane later pulling the intact car from the water.

“One of the guests came running and alerted me that a car had fallen into the water. Then I went full throttle towards the people who came climbing out of the car,” sauna skipper Nicholay Nordahl, 26, told the Norwegian outlet. Two French sauna guests and Nordahl helped with the rescue, it added.

Both saunas and Teslas are highly popular in Norway. Teslas were the most-sold car in the Scandinavian country for the third year in row, and over 80 percent of new cars sold in 2023 were electric, Reuters reported. The country has for years offered subsidies for electric car purchases as it tries to become the first nation in the world to eliminate gas car sales.

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Tesla is facing off against unions across the Nordic countries, after refusing to sign a collective bargaining agreement with its mechanics in Sweden. Norwegian port workers have shown their support by refusing to unload Tesla shipments to the country.

Oslo sits at the top of the 60-mile long Oslo Fjord, a which connects the Norwegian capital with the North Sea. The water temperature in the fjord was 33.6 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, just barely above freezing. At that temperature, humans generally can survive for only 15 to 45 minutes, even with a flotation device, according to the University of Minnesota.

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