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Capsize horror survivor, 72, threw tools to ward off crocs

Published 18/05/2016

The crocodile tipped over the tourists' 10ft boat
The crocodile tipped over the tourists' 10ft boat

A 72-year-old man threw spanners and spark plugs to keep crocodiles at bay after one of them capsized his boat in a northern Australian creek, drowning his friend.

The two tourists from the southern city of Bendigo were attempting to retrieve crab pots on Tuesday when a crocodile tipped over their 10ft boat at Leaders Creek, south west of Darwin, said Ian Badham, director of helicopter medical retrieval service CareFlight.

The drowned man, in his 50s, became trapped under the boat while the survivor scrambled upon the upturned hull.

He told rescuers he threw spanners and spark plugs at approaching crocodiles as he dragged the boat toward mangroves where he sheltered for three hours, Mr Badham said.

Three professional crabbers heard his shouts three hours later, rescued him and retrieved his friend's body.

He was treated for shock before he was flown to a Darwin hospital and later discharged.

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From Belfast Telegraph