Danger crocodiles: Swimming prohibited (We’re really serious)

You know, I’m not one for mentioning the Darwin Awards for people who do stupid things that take them out of the gene pool but, man, this was really dumb. And, since it happened IN Darwin, Australia… well, it’s apropos.

Body of Australian man recovered from crocodile-infested river – The Globe and Mail.

Police have recovered the body of a man who attempted to swim across a crocodile-infested river in the Australian Outback as well as the carcass of a crocodile that was shot by authorities, officials said Monday.

Sean Cole, 26, was snatched by a crocodile and dragged under the water Saturday as he and a friend were swimming in the Mary River during a birthday party.

Northern Territory wildlife ranger Tom Nichols said Cole’s body and that of a 4.7-metre-long crocodile floated to the river surface early Monday. The crocodile was one of four that rangers shot in the hours after the attack.

The river is infested with crocodiles, and officials said that as locals the men would have known that.

“They just did something silly,” Nichols said.

Erin Bayard, the manager of mary River Wilderness Retreat, says there are plenty of signs clearly stating that it is prohibited to go within five meters of the water edge due to the risk of crocodiles dragging people into the water. The man died of either chest injuries or drowning. Bodies of both man and beast were recovered.

  6 comments for “Danger crocodiles: Swimming prohibited (We’re really serious)

  1. August 26, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    “HOLD MY BEER . . . WATCH THIS” is apparently no longer just an American redneck joke. There is a high probability that alcohol was a factor in this death.

  2. Dang
    August 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    My wife (now ex) and I visited Darwin a few years ago, and several days of the tour, we went swimming in lakes and rivers that were clearly marked as possibly having crocodiles. Our tour guide explained that in the state parks (which is where we were), wildlife management would monitor for the presence of saltwater crocodiles (“salties”), especially during the wet season, and would relocate them to other waters. We also went on private (i.e., not state park) river trips where our canoe was a body’s length from a swimming crocodile (the guide joked that it was a slow day, so if someone wanted to go swimming, he wouldn’t tell the boss). We also heard stories about people who climbed trees to escape from crocodiles, thinking they were safe, only to learn the hard way that crocodiles can climb trees also.

    It was a fun trip, and I would love to do it again some day.

    As an aside, in one of the state parks, there were signs to not feed the monitor lizards, where we saw an English couple chuckling as their small child was tossing pieces of fruit to one that had wandered in from the forest. No tragedy that day while we were there.

  3. Adam
    August 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    You’d think Australians would appreciate the dangers of doing this even more than some naive tourist.

  4. neko
    August 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Dang, I’ve read in several places that full grown crocodiles cannot climb vertical trees.

    Young small crocodiles and horizontal trees are another question.

    Are you sure they can climb trees? There are a lot of joke photoshopped videos on youtube, and some pictures of lizards in trees which are clearly not what they a captioned, but I haven’t found a decent website saying they can…

    That’s not to say they can’t, I really don’t have a crocodile to test with. Do you have a source for these stories?

    I have read of several stories in newspapers in crocodile infested areas of people treed by crocodiles, though, just now.

  5. August 29, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    As an Australian, I’d like to point out that the man concerned worked in IT. Need I say more?! Real world? Not likely. ; )

  6. grrpot
    August 29, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    I have never heard of salties being able to climb trees, but they don’t need to, they have more than enough power in their tails to enable them to launch themselves out of the water to get prey. Given the right conditions (such as the vast, rapidly increasing water volume experienced in the wet season) a tree, a rock, a river bank etc can quickly lose any safety it might once have offered.

    Prey in the water stand little chance to avoid becoming the days crunchy snack for a 4.7m crocodile. Sad that this person has met so grisly an end, but being taken while knowingly swimming in a croc habitat deserves a Darwin Award.

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