Saturday, May 07, 2011

What a Croc

Via the excellent Northern Territory News, comes a classic story of Australian mateship.
Howard Springs man, Kevin Eccles, 59, said he knew that if the two-and-a-half metre croc dragged him into the South Alligator River he was a dead man.

"I was not letting go," Mr Eccles said. "There was no way I was going into the water, he would really have me then." Sitting in his bed at Darwin Private Hospital Mr Eccles said he knew he was lucky to survive.

He and his mate Darrel Briscoe were in their tinnie at the mouth of One Tree Creek off South Alligator River in Arnhem Land on Saturday night when the croc launched itself from the water and grabbed him in its jaws.

"There was no warning, no nothing, not even a splash," Mr Eccles said.

"He pulled me right out of the seat of the boat."

The croc had locked its jaws on Mr Eccles's right shoulder.

The 184cm fisherman said that he managed to wedge his knees under the gunnel of the boat and grip the edge with his right hand. He then used his left hand to feel for the croc's eyes.

He thinks he poked the crocodile in an eyeball because it suddenly released him, causing him to fall back on to his mate.

Amazingly, Mr Briscoe slept through the entire struggle in the 4.5m Quintrex Hornet boat. "I told him that a crocodile's got me, then he started yelling because he thought I said the crocodile was in the boat."

When they were sure the croc was gone Mr Briscoe got out a first-aid kit and squirted a whole tube of antiseptic over his friend's chest and bandaged the wounds.

They then began a seven-hour journey in a tinnie and a car to get themselves to Royal Darwin Hospital.



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