OZRURAL.COM.AU


Life on the land in Australia

MAN TAKEN BY 5 METRE CROC IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

BAD BIRTHDAY BASH BECAUSE OF CROC ATTACK OF 26 YEAR OLD

CROC CLOSEUP MOUTH TEETH

A birthday celebration in the Top End has ended in tragedy as a man was attacked by a crocodile and is believed dead.

Police say a 26-year-old Darwin man was celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday on Saturday at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, about halfway between Darwin and Kakadu National Park.

At around 3pm (CST), two male partygoers were swimming across the muddy river when one was grabbed by a five-metre long saltwater crocodile.

“The Mary River is known worldwide to have the greatest saturation of adult saltwater crocodiles in the world. You don’t swim in the Mary River,” watch commander Senior Sergeant Geoff Bahnert said.

He said alcohol may have played a part in the decision to take a dip.

“Several of the group in the party witnessed the male being taken in the jaws of the croc for a period of time, and then he was out of sight,” he said.

Police and the NT Crocodile Management Team arrived at the lodge and caravan park before last light on Saturday, and an officer shot one of the largest crocs found in the area.

It’s not yet known whether it was the attacking crocodile.

“That was to make sure that it wouldn’t hamper any rescue attempts – large crocodiles are territorial,” Sergeant Bahnert said.

The victim’s parents and sister drove to the site from Katherine to be briefed by police on what is now most likely a recovery operation.

Police are still taking statements from traumatised witnesses, and dragging the river in search of the body.

“The Mary River is a tidal river, with lots of water movement,” Sergeant Bahnert said.

“It’s 20 hours since he’s been missing and he hasn’t been located yet.

“We hold the gravest of fears.”

The advice to tourists is to come, look, take photographs and stay out of the water.

“We advise people check the water before entering swimming pools – that’s how seriously we take water safety in relation to crocodiles,” Sergeant Bahnert said.

“Any body of water you’re going into in the NT, there’s the potential for a croc to be in there.”

Erin Bayard, a staff member at the park, said all of the guests are told not go swimming in the waterways.

‘‘We have signs up and warn all of the guests to stay five metres away from the water’s edge,’’ Mrs Bayard said.

‘‘There are crocs in every waterway here and they’re often up to five metres long.

‘‘It’s a tragedy that this has happened; it’s very sad.

‘‘This is why we tell our guests to stay away from the water.’’

She said there hadn’t been a similar attack in recent memory, but there are many salt and fresh water crocodiles in the stretch of river near the park.

AAA

August 25th, 2013
Topic: Crocodiles, DEATHS GRIEF MOURNING Tags: , , , ,

≡ Leave a Reply