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OZ Press: Croc death roll on family boat


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Posted by W von Papinešu on March 19, 2003 at 20:08:52:

NORTHERN TERRITORY NEWS (Darwin, Australia) 20 March 03 Croc death roll on family boat (Rajiv Maharaj)
A 5m crocodile attacked a boat and tried to roll it as a businessman, his wife and two young children were fishing.
The crocodile started to take the 6m aluminium dinghy into a death roll and tried to pull it away from shore.
Michael Vaughan, 40, wife Janelle and children Jemma, 7, and Josh, 4, were fishing for barramundi on the Victoria River near Timber Creek, 800km southwest of Darwin.
The Katherine family stopped to fish close to a bank near a creek running off the main river when the saltwater crocodile jumped out of the water.
It bit down on the stern of the boat and shook it violently from side to side.
``I had only had a few casts when there was two loud bangs from the rear of the boat and then a splash,'' Mr Vaughan said.
``We turned and saw the dark head of a croc surface.
``Once we pulled the boat out of the water we saw the croc had hit the side fairly hard and then rolled trying to bite the hull.''
The children screamed as the crocodile attempted the death roll _ a move designed to take its victims under water.
Just as the boat was about to be taken underwater, the crocodile released its grip and swam away with its tail high in the water.
Parks and Wildlife senior ranger Patrick Carmody was called by the family shortly after the attack on Saturday.
``They were pretty shook up,'' he said. ``It's horrifying when you've got a croc going for you and he's almost as big as the boat.
``The father told me a smaller boat would have tipped over for sure,'' he said.
Mr Carmody, who regularly patrols the Victoria River, said he knew the crocodile.
``He's been there since I was a boy, because there's a lot of food resources, like wallabies.
``It was a territorial thing _ he was just protecting his patch.
``Crocs don't normally attack objects bigger than themselves, but this one made sure he left his calling card.''



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