Croc ride no crock
Mates catch more than they bargain for
A TWO-METRE crocodile reportedly hauled a canoe carrying two men around for half an hour before emerging just metres from the frightened pair in a popular part of the Ross River.
Condon fisherman Hayden Ruddell was fishing with his friend Tim Hill, 18, on Thursday when they spotted two dots in the water opposite the r owing s hed near Loam Island. Just minutes later they were hooked on to the large beast.
‘‘ The dots went under water and the next thing I had caught something on my lure,’’ Mr Ruddell said.
‘‘ We didn’t believe it was a croc at first.
‘‘ We were being dragged against the current ( but) I kept trying to pull it in.
‘‘ I never thought I’d bring it in.’’
The shock came when the animal finally surfaced near their canoe.
‘‘ It was a good, healthy croc – at least two metres,’’ Mr Ruddell said.
‘‘ We snapped the line and just tried to keep the canoe upright.
‘‘ We had two people in a one-man canoe so it was really unstable ( and) we had tipped ( the canoe) before.’’
He said their first reaction was to sit still.
‘‘ It eventually thrashed its tail and disappeared,’’ Mr Ruddell said.
‘‘ People were swimming and exercising their dogs in the water. We tried to warn the people at the rowing shed but they didn’t seem worried.’’
Mr Ruddell said the pair had fished in the spot a lot recently after reeling in some good-sized barramundi.
‘‘ We had been there three times during the week,’’ Mr Ruddell said.
‘‘ I hadn’t seen a crocodile before but I always suspected there might be crocs in there considering we live in North Queensland.
‘‘’’ Dad said I should buy a Lotto ticket because I was so lucky to have escaped.’’ In a fitting finish to his day, Mr Ruddell later won more than $ 800 on the pokies.
The council’s Community Safety chairman, Cr Dale Last, said it was essential any crocodile sighting was reported to council and the Department of Environment and Resource Management.
‘‘ I certainly caution people who are contemplating swimming in this area to avoid it,’’ he said. ‘‘ It’s highly likely it’s a freshwater ( crocodile) but we need to be sure.’’
HOOKED: Hayden Ruddell and his friend took a ride on the wild side in the Ross River courtesy of a croc this week