Croc at­tack vic­tim’s body re­cov­ered

The Weekend Australian - - THE NATION - AMOS AIKMAN NORTHERN CORRESPONDENT

Po­lice have re­cov­ered a body af­ter a woman was snatched by a crocodile from among a group of fam­ily mem­bers while fishing in a bil­l­abong in Arn­hem Land.

The woman, whom po­lice have been told is an Abo­rig­i­nal ranger, is un­der­stood to have been wad­ing waist-deep while fishing and search­ing for fresh­wa­ter mus­sels.

Her body and a crocodile were dis­cov­ered yes­ter­day less than a kilome­tre from where the at­tack oc­curred. The crocodile was de­stroyed by lo­cal in­dige­nous rangers and the woman’s body was re­cov­ered.

Com­man­der Tony Fuller said mem­bers of the group, which in­cluded women and chil­dren, may not have seen the crocodile strike, although of­fi­cers who had taken sev­eral hours to reach the scene were yet to con­duct in­ter­views. “She was with the group … The group no­ticed she was miss­ing, and they saw that the bucket she was car­ry­ing was there,” Com­man­der Fuller said. “They heard some splash­ing.” The in­ci­dent oc­curred at a bil­l­abong near Gan Gan, an out­sta­tion in north­east Arn­hem Land on the Gove Penin­sula. Gan Gan, about 560km east of Dar­win, is an im­por­tant place in Yol­ngu cul­ture and home to prom­i­nent Abo­rig­i­nal artists.

The woman is be­lieved to have worked for Layn­hapuy Home­lands Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion. The head of its ranger group did not re­turn calls.

NT Work­Safe has started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent. A re­port will be pre­pared for the coro­ner.

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