Tuesday, November 30

Farewell after the Kvam accident: – Sudden, brutal and meaningless

DIED: The couple Ruth Wathne (68) and Nils Johan Bårdsen (72) died in the accident in Kvam in Hardanger on 24 October.

ASKØY (VG) The couple Ruth Wathne (68) and Nils Johan Bårdsen (72) both died in the tragic accident in Tokagjelet in Hardanger on 24 October. On Friday, they were interred from Tveit church on Askøy.

Prost Jan Tommy Fosse described what happened as abrupt, brutal and meaningless.

– I’m looking for words that try to contain what happened in Tokagjelet on October 24, and what you have been going through. But I can not find them, because it just hurts, said Fosse.

– The words become empty, and they do not contain everything you felt when you hoped that they would be found alive, or the world that collapsed when there was no longer any hope. And all you now feel of pain, longing and despair.

He said it was unreal to gather to say goodbye.

– It hurts to see the two coffins here. And then I think that it is precisely in such demanding situations that we must remember and show care for each other.

TOOK GOODBYE: Ruth Wathne (68) and Nils Johan Bårdsen were buried from Tveit church on Askøy on Friday.

Fosse read out words of remembrance from all three children in the church. His son Tomas Wathne Bårdsen expressed that he had an incredible number of good memories with his parents.

The parents met when both were volunteers in the Red Cross Auxiliary Corps, and in 1983 they married.

The son said his parents had taught him many good values.

– You taught me that it is important to take care of each other, and take care of those you love and those who are close to us. You taught me that it is important to stand up for what you believe in, but also that it is important to be able to apologize if you make a mistake.

USED ​​CRANE: River rescuers from several auxiliary corps in the Red Cross were among the crews who participated in the demanding search for the dead in the Tokagjelselva.

Tomas Wathne Bårdsen wrote in the memoir that his parents taught him that it is better to say that you love each other once too much, than once too little.

– That’s why I’m so happy that this was exactly the last thing we said to each other.

He also talked about what happened in Tokagjelet.

– The thought of how you had it together lately is almost unmanageable. But I still manage to find some comfort in the fact that you were together. That you had a great day with some of your best friends. I choose to believe that you held each other and that it passed quickly. I will miss you as long as I live.

DIED: The couple Ruth Wathne (68) and Nils Johan Bårdsen (72) lost their lives in the accident in Kvam in Hardanger on 24 October.

Kjell Arne Pedersen (64) and the dog «Leo» also died in the accident in Kvam. Together with Ruth Wathne and Nils Johan Bårdsen, Pedersen was to cross Langvotnevatnet in a rowing boat, when the boat was taken off the current and led down the Tokagjelselva.

A large-scale search operation was launched after the alarm went off on the evening of 24 October. The search lasted under demanding conditions for nine days, until the last deceased was found in the river on 2 November.

The family of Kjell Arne Pedersen has subsequently thanked all public bodies, volunteers and private individuals who contributed to the search:

“There are no words big enough to express our gratitude. You are real heroes. Thank you!”

BISATT: – It hurts to see two coffins here, said Provost Jan Tommy Fosse in his speech.

Ruth Wathne was trained as a dental technician. For the last 14 years she worked as a bus driver in the transport company Tide.

– We will remember Ruth as a very helpful and caring colleague and fellow human being, said area leader Lasse Salthella in Tide in his memorial speech.

Nils Johan Bårdsen worked for 27 years in the Bergen fire service, from 1979 until he retired in 2006, 57 years old, fire chief in Bergen Leif Linde has previously stated to VG.

– I worked for 25 years with Nils, some periods we worked closely together on the same shift team. As a firefighter, he was good, calm and skilled, said Linde.

DEMANDING CONDITIONS: The search crews have received great recognition for the efforts made in the search for the three missing. High water flow and porous rock made the search work very challenging.


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