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Prisoner breaks free with surfboard and toy spade

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Bastøy prison seen from the air. Photo: Cornelius Poppe/Scanpix
20:10 CEST+02:00
A prisoner has escaped from an island prison in Norway by sneaking out of a window, stealing an old surfboard and paddling the three kilometres to shore with a toy spade.
“The escape was discovered this morning, when we saw a window was open,” prison manager Tom Eberhardt told VG newspaper.
 
“We had an old surfboard standing in a shelter, so old that it is almost an antique,” he added. This is what he has stolen, and he took a toy shovel as well.” 
 
The 23-year-old was lucky enough to have been serving his sentence for narcotics and rape at Norway’s Bastøy prison, which is renowned worldwide for its enlightened regime. 
 
Prisoners’ rooms are unlocked, their windows are without bars, and outdoor pursuits such as horseback riding, fishing, tennis, and cross-country skiing are laid on. 
 
“It is not very difficult to get away from Bastøy, and it happens fortunately very rarely,” Eberhardt said. “But we are concerned about security, partly because we are on an island and want to prevent people getting killed as they attempt to escape”.
 
He told VG that if the escaped prisoner was eventually tracked down by police, he would face serving the rest of his sentence in a normal prison. 

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The 2.6 square kilometre island is in the Horten municipality, some 75 kilometres south of Oslo, and is only normally accessible by a ferry. 
 
The surfboard was found abandoned on the shore in the town of Horten. 

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