RANGER KILLED BY CROCODILE
Woman taken while fishing in Arnhem Land
A FEMALE indigenous ranger was killed after a crocodile grabbed her while she was fishing with family at a billabong.
She was fishing at the waterhole near the remote community of Gan Gan in East Arnhem Land when the croc snatched her.
The woman was collecting mussels and fishing with seven family members – all women and children – when she was taken about 10am yesterday.
Initial police investigations indicated she was in the water up to waist deep.
At about 5pm yesterday police and rangers tracked down the crocodile, which was found less than 1km from where the woman was last seen.
Police had worked with the community to search the waterways for the woman.
The crocodile was destroyed and the woman’s body recovered.
NT Police Northern Command Commander Tony Fuller said family members noticed she was missing after seeing the bucket she was car- rying floating in the water.
“The group noticed that she was missing and they saw the bucket was there, and they heard some splashing,” he said.
They notified authorities and the search began.
Commander Fuller said police were still to interview all the witnesses.
The woman is understood to be employed as an indigenous ranger with local ranger group Yirrkala Rangers in the Laynhapuy Indigenous Protected Area.
There was some confusion around the incident, with police unable to confirm if the woman was working at the time. But NT WorkSafe has launched an investigation into the incident.
“NT WorkSafe has been notified that a female Aboriginal ranger has been taken by a crocodile approximately 206km southwest of Yirrkala,” the NT WorkSafe statement read. “NT WorkSafe has commenced an investigation into the incident.”
Commander Fuller said it took police from Nhulunbuy and Lake Evella three hours to drive to the remote location.
Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Christopher Francis said it was notified of the incident at 11am.
“At 11am Laynha was advised that an incident had occurred in Gan Gan. Police are travelling to the scene now to investigate. At this time, we are unable to confirm any more details,” he said.
Commander Fuller said a report would be prepared for the coroner.
“A report will be prepared for the coroner to find out exactly what the circumstances were that led to her disappearance,” he said.
“A report will be prepared for the coroner to find out ... the circumstances” COMMANDER TONY FULLER