Thursday 19 May 2016

NT crocodile attack: capsizing boat 'extremely unusual', says expert

Ordeal which saw one man drown and another fight off reptiles for three hours also a reminder of which boats are safe to take into crocodile-infested waters

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 18 May 201604.52 BST
Last modified on Wednesday 18 May 201606.23 BST
An expert says the attack in which a crocodile overturned a boat in the Northern Territory, killing one man and a putting another through terrifying ordeal, is an extremely unusual event.

Noel Ramage, 75, drowned, leaving his 72-year-old mate to fight off crocodiles for three hours after the men’s tinny turned over at Leaders Creek, 40km fromDarwin, on Tuesday afternoon.

The survivor threw spanners and spark plugs at approaching crocodiles and was trapped in muddy mangroves before being rescued and taken to hospital suffering shock. He has been released and the body has been recovered.

Adam Britton, a researcher at Charles Darwin University, said he’d never heard of such an attack before, although the crocodile may have been attracted by the men’s crab pots. He suggested the men could have panicked, causing the boat to capsize.

Britton also said Northern Territory authorities needed to remind people which boats were safe to take out into crocodile-infested waters.

“Perhaps one of the precautions that needs to be added to that list is to be extremely cautious if you take out a small unstable tinny,” he said.

“Having said that, it is still a highly bizarre situation and extremely unlikely.

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