I don't know of any such record, but heck, it sounds like a close call.
Once, when we were featuring in a documentary, I was asked to catch small
fish to use as bait for file snake. We were at the Goomadeer River, in
western Arnhem Land. I threw my castnet over some, but unfortunately it
snagged on a branch, right near the spot my relatives had told me, was
occupied by a large "Ginga".
To free the net I needed to bend over, a risky manoevre as then one appears
snack size to a large croc! So I called to the camera man, Leighton de
Barros and the presenter for help. Leighton was in the water like a shot.
One of my favourite men.
Many years ago my semi-traditional relatives taught me to clap the water in
a special way saying that it would attract fish but scare crocodiles away.
I sometimes use the technique when birdwatching in or near water (I spend a
lot of time in mangroves).
Theoretically crocodiles are supposed to leave me alone as I've Crocodile
Dreaming. But I don't want to put it to the test!
on 19/1/08 4:56 PM, Syd Curtis at wrote:
> Does anyone have the reference for this croc incident written up in some
> journal by Harry Messell? Probably in the late 1970s or early '80s.
> Years ago (20+), I spent a couple of weeks on his boat on the Blythe River
> learning of his croc survey techniques re their potential application in
> Queensland and I read the reprint there, but have long since forgotten what
> journal it was in. As I recall, the near fatality happened like this:
> Messel's survey included tracking crocs by means of radio transmitters
> attached to their necks. Three of his staff had located one very large croc
> basking on the far bank of a river. There was a large mangrove leaning out
> over the water on their bank, but even after climbing up it and using
> binoculars they were not entirely satisfied that they could see whether the
> transmitter was still securely fastened to the croc's neck.
> One bloke said he had been told that if you splash a leafy branch in the
> water it will attract a crocodile - sounds like a fish in distress. They do
> that and sure enough the croc's head comes up, and a few seconds later he
> walks down to the water, swims out about 10 metres and submerges.
> Shortly after, his head comes out of the water right in front of the
> mangrove; paused for a split-second, then lunged. And the only thing that
> saved the lowest of the three blokes was a small branch on the mangrove that
> deflected the croc's strike.
>> From: Denise Goodfellow <>
>> Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 13:20:47 +0930
>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Fwd: Leanyer sewage ponds (Darwin)
>> I know the crocodiles at the sewage ponds well. We were first warned of Ben
>> back in 1984, I think it was.
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