Australian diver knew crocodile risk

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Posted by on September 30, 2005 at 15:41:24:

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

DARWIN, Australia, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Rangers say that a commercial diver killed by a crocodile off Australia's northern coast was aware of the risk he was taking.

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Russell Butel, owner of an aquarium supply business in Darwin, was collecting fish and coral from the waters off the Coburg Peninsula when he was attacked Thursday.

"The locals here are very reluctant to go near the water and are fairly crocodile-aware, which I hope everyone is after such an incident," Peter Fitzgerald, who found Butel's body, told the Brisbane Courier News. "It's just a sad event."

Butel's diving partner, Nick Sherwood, saw the attack from a dinghy and marked the site with an electronic beacon, which aided in the recovery of the body.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports that Butel's skull was crushed in the crocodile's powerful jaws. Attempts to track the crocodile were not successful, and Fitzgerald said it would be impossible to find.

The attack was the second fatal one in the Northern Territory in four days, raising calls for a revival of crocodile hunting.

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