Second croc attack

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Posted by on September 29, 2005 at 19:01:36:

In Reply to: Diver killed in suspected croc attack posted by on September 29, 2005 at 02:32:17:

A diver was killed by a crocodile yesterday the second fatal attack in the Northern Territory in less than a week.

The body of the Darwin man, 56, was found close to where he disappeared while diving in a remote waters off Cobourg Peninsula, 200km northeast of Darwin.

The man's distraught diving companion, a 41-year-old New Zealand man, raised the alarm by satellite phone about 11.30am.

He marked the exact location with an emergency beacon as he scrambled to get out of the water after spotting a large crocodile.

Acting Superintendent Dean McMaster said the man's body might never have been recovered but for the rapid actions of his companion.

"His actions and quick thinking have made the search so much easier," he said.

"He was diving as a diving companion when his mate went missing.

"That must have been a very stressful time.

"He's managed to get out of the water into a boat, where he's placed an emergency locating beacon (in the location) and called police on a satellite phone."

It took authorities several hours to reach the area, and the man's body was found at 4.30pm.

Police said he had injuries consistent with a crocodile attack, but the cause of death would be confirmed by a post-mortem examination.

The man's family in Darwin had been told of his death.

The incident comes just five days after British snorkeller Russell Harris, 37, was killed by a 4m saltwater crocodile while swimming off Groote Eylandt, east of Darwin.

Authorities are still hunting that crocodile but have not said if the animal will be killed or relocated.

Mr Harris' death sparked renewed debate about whether limited safari hunting of some of the NT's dangerous crocodiles should be allowed.

The Federal Government is expected to soon make a decision on the NT Government proposal, for trophy hunting of 25 crocodiles a year.

Crocodile numbers have exploded to an estimated 75,000 since they were declared a protected animal and hunting was banned 33 years ago.

Supt McMaster said it was not known if authorities would hunt the crocodile believed responsible for the latest attack.

"It's a remote area," he said. "There are a large number of crocodiles along the coastline in that area.

"It would be hard to pin the attack down to any specific crocodile."

He warned people should not go into NT waterways. "It's been well-documented, the dangers of swimming or entering the water in the NT."

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