Man battles crocs in Australia with spanner, spark plugs
18 May 2016, 13:56
Sydney – A desperate fisherman threw spanners and spark plugs to
fight off circling crocodiles after his friend drowned when one of the animals capsized
their small boat, reports said on Wednesday.
The holidaymakers were pulling in crab pots on Tuesday in Leaders
Creek, 38km northeast of Darwin, when their boat was nudged by a saltwater
croc, tipping it over.
The men tried to get back on board but it flipped again, trapping
one of them underneath, drowning him, the Northern Territory News said.
The survivor, 72, told rescuers he tried to pull the boat to shore
before getting stuck waist-deep in mud with three or four crocodiles circling
"He was using spanners and spark plugs to hold them at
bay," said Ian Badham from CareFlight, an Australian aeromedical charity
which flew him to a Darwin hospital.
He managed to make it into nearby mangroves and spent three hours
there before some fellow crabbers heard his cries for help.
"The man has been left suffering from severe shock and
dehydration and exposure," added Badham, who was speaking to the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Crocodiles are common in Australia's tropical north and they kill
an average of two people each year.
Crocodile numbers have increased since the introduction of
protection laws in 1971, with estimates putting the Northern Territory's
population in the wild at about 100 000.
Despite the dangers they pose for swimmers, boaters and fishermen,
the Australian government in 2014 rejected the idea of crocodile safari hunts –
saying there was a danger of "cruel and inhumane" behaviour.
Earlier this year, a 19-year-old on a family camping holiday in
the Northern Territory had a lucky escape when he fought off a crocodile which
bit into his foot as he slept.
In January, a crocodile crunched off a woman's arm in a
"death roll" at a creek in a small town in neighbouring Western