Croc­o­dile takes woman dur­ing night swim in Aus­tralia

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

THORN­TON BEACH—A woman is feared dead af­ter be­ing seized by a croc­o­dile dur­ing a late-night swim at a beach in north­ern Aus­tralia as her friend strug­gled to save her, po­lice said Mon­day.

The women went for a stroll on Thorn­ton Beach on Sun­day evening in the far north of Queens­land state be­fore mak­ing a fate­ful de­ci­sion to take a dip in an area known to be in­fested with croc­o­diles.

“The woman was swim­ming with a fe­male friend, also in her 40s, at 10.30pm when the in­ci­dent oc­curred,” po­lice said in a state­ment.

Nine News cited wit­nesses as hear­ing the woman yell “A croc’s got me, a croc’s got me!”

Se­nior Con­sta­ble Rus­sell Parker said the women — Aus­tralians vis­it­ing the area — were in the wa­ter when one of them was grabbed, with her friend des­per­ately try­ing to drag her to safety.

“They de­cided to take a swim in the ocean just in waist­deep wa­ter and at that point, we be­lieve that a croc­o­dile has taken one of the women, taken hold of her,” he told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

“Her friend tried valiantly to drag her to the shore but un­for­tu­nately wasn’t able to do so and the woman sub­se­quently dis­ap­peared.

“Now her friend raised the alarm with a nearby busi­ness and they sub­se­quently con­tacted the po­lice.”

A res­cue he­li­copter was sent up with ther­mal imag­ing equip­ment but was un­able to find her. Parker added that the sur­viv­ing woman was “very, very shaken and shocked” but ap­peared to have es­caped with only grazes. The Bris­bane Courier-Mail said Thorn­ton Beach was next to a creek where croc-spot­ting tours were or­gan­ised, and there were plenty of warning signs through­out the vicin­ity.

The at­tack is not the first in the area. A gi­ant croc­o­dile known as Big Jim took lo­cal postal worker Beryl Wruck in 1985 when she had a late-night swim about an hour’s drive from Thorn­ton Beach.

Croc­o­diles are com­mon in Aus­tralia’s trop­i­cal north and kill an av­er­age of two peo­ple each year.—AFP

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