Following a spate of crocodile attacks in Australia’s Northern Territory, including one where a croc tried to drag a camper out of his tent by the foot, a 72-year-old man has told rescuers how he watched his friend drown and then cracked a rampaging crocodile’s skull with a spanner.
The pair were catching mud crabs at Leaders Creek in Darwin when a giant crocodile capsized their three-metre “tinny” boat. Up to 200,000 adult saltwater crocodiles are believed to live in the Northern Territory and several were involved in the latest incident.
One fisherman drowned during a three-hour ordeal, while trying to clamber back onto the boat. He somehow became trapped.
As crocs moved in for the kill, the other man managed to repeatedly whack one of the reptiles on the skull with a spanner, then hit it with a few spark plugs for good measure.
Air ambulance Careflight spokesperson Ian Badham recounted the survivor’s experience, telling the BBC the crocodiles kept coming back for the man. He fought them off, then took refuge in mangroves and waited for the shifting tide to help him climb back up onto land.
The man’s screams eventually caught the attention of professional crabbers who took the victim – and the body of his friend – to a boat ramp. The survivor was whisked to hospital by air ambulance and treated for severe shock, dehydration and exposure.
Both men were from Victoria, in the temperate south of Australia. The latest exploit is set to join a catalogue of blood-curdling tales from Australia’s untamed tropical north.
Written by Peter Needham