Western Australian tourism operators are hoping for a quieter time on the state’s seas and waterways during the rest of this year after a two-metre crocodile attacked a cruise ship crewmember north of Broome.
The crocodile attack, on a woman working on the ship True North, happened just before Easter. It came only days after the fourth fatal shark attack in WA waters in the past seven months. While there is no link between crocodile and shark attacks, the headlines may leave tourists with the impression that WA is a place of aquatic hazards.
True North, owned by WA-based North Star Cruises, was in the Kimberley region when the croc attack happened. The crewmember, Tara Hawkes, 23, was flown to Perth for treatment on lacerations to her leg, ABC News reported.
Worksafe, the WA state government agency responsible for the administration of work safety and health laws, says it is preparing to investigate the crocodile attack because the victim was at work at the time.
Hawkes was reportedly leaving a freshwater pool at Talbot Bay, about 200 kilometres North of Broome, when a two-metre crocodile bit her on the leg. North Star Cruises is preparing an incident report for Worksafe.
ABC News quoted Worksafe Commissioner Lex McCulloch as saying the report would determine whether charges would be laid.
“We have been in contact with the company obviously and we’ll be getting further information in relation to that and then we’ll make a decision as to where to go.”
Just a week before that, Busselton mayor Ian Stubbs voiced fears that tourism in WA would suffer unless the state government started killing sharks that approach the shore. WA Premier Colin Barnett ruled out a shark cull, saying it was impossible to protect all people at all times.
Stubbs was speaking after local resident Peter Kurmann, 33, was killed by a shark – the fourth fatal shark attack in Western Australia since September.
Written by : Peter Needham