Spe­cial man of the north takes fi­nal trip

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - John An­der­son

NORTH Queens­land’s last great ad­ven­turer Louie Kom­sic was found dead on his boat in Princess Char­lotte Bay north of Cook­town early this month. He was buried in Cairns on Oc­to­ber 6.

The 82-year-old com­mer­cial fish­er­man, gold miner, road house op­er­a­tor, cat­tle­man, croc­o­dile shooter and bush­man was alone on his boat when he had what is be­lieved to have been a heart at­tack.

No one who knew Louie thought he would ever die.

He was by him­self hunt­ing croc­o­diles in the Skar­don River on the west­ern side of Cape York in 1963 when his small boat and his pos­ses­sions were lost in a flood.

For 11 days he walked through swamps and man­groves, sur­viv­ing on what food he could catch with his bare hands.

He reached Coen where the po­lice of­fi­cer gave him a note which said he was a ship­wreck vic­tim who could be trusted.

Louie kept walk­ing for an­other 18 days, show­ing the note to sta­tion own­ers along the way who gave him food in re­turn for small jobs.

Even­tu­ally he made his way back to the east coast.

Cairns hote­lier Paul Kam­sler bankrolled the 25-year-old Louie’s ca­reer as a croc shooter.

“I tried hard to get to know the peo­ple, the bush, the an­i­mals,” he once said. “I drink with bush­men. I fight them and we get along in the bush.”

When younger and work­ing alone in the bush he trav­elled with just his boat, swag, ri­fle and salt for the croc hides.

He wounded a 5m croc­o­dile once and it rolled and smashed into his boat. His ri­fle went over the side and so did Louie.

“I swam to the bank and walked back to my camp and got an­other ri­fle. When I came back the wounded croc was ly­ing on the bank look­ing at me. I shot him,” he said.

Louie Kom­sic with a big croc on the Skar­don River in Cape York Penin­sula

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