Driver misses the boat
A DRUNKEN Victorian tourist drove his vehicle straight into the Daintree River last Saturday night.
Ferry driver Chris Harris watched on in horror from the other side of the river as the 34-year- old man, who later recorded blood alcohol reading of .165 - more than three times the legal limit - approached the northern ramp too fast and “ended up in the drink”.
Mr Harris scooped the driver and his mate out of the water as they sat on the roof of their sinking Toyota Camry.
“One of them was definitely going to go back in and we had to restrain him so he wouldn’t, I don’t think he was aware we have crocodiles,” he said.
“He was panicking, half in shock and just wanted to get his possessions, the young lads lost everything as you can imagine.
“The car was still floating when they were sitting on the roof and when we got them off the roof onto the ferry the car slowly sunk and twisted down with the current as the tide was running out.”
Ferry operator Chris Norris said there was nothing that could be done to save the car and the possessions as they sunk to the bottom of the Daintree River.
“The car actually floated really well surprisingly and once the current took it, it floated downstream,” he said.
“It was only a little car and the car lights were still on and you could see the lights as it sunk and by the time they got back down the river it was just about gone.
“All we could do was make sure they were both safe, we know there are crocodiles and you don’t want to be swimming around there at night time or day time.”
Mr Norris said he has never seen an accident like this occur during his time as ferry operator and said he could not understand that even with the area lit up, why the driver did not realise the river was there.
“We just wanted to make sure the two guys were safe because they were pretty shaken up by the sounds of it, as you would be,” he said.
“One minute on the road and the next minute you’re in the river and your car and all your gear is gone.”
Police attended the incident around 8pm and arrested the man, charging him for drink- driving and also driving without due care and attention, to appear in the Mossman Magistrate’s court on November 7.