Special man of the north takes final trip
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