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Gnadenburg
30th Oct 2002, 23:11
Don't know how I survived my early days swimming in the Northern Territory. We stuck by a few hard and fast rules. Rules we thought guaranteed our safety from the local man eating crocs.

Everyone of our rules has been disproven. So for the tourists who flock to my old childhood swimming holes note the following.

Man eating Saltwater Crocs don't habitat freshwater billabongs-FALSE. Disproven long ago, even the poms know this a myth. During the wet season crocs move about, tidal rivers to billabongs to freshwater rivers.

OK to swim on Northern beaches, crocs don't the surf- FALSE. Discovered this myself as a young pilot taking the coastal route home. Crocs seem to enjoy lazing about on beaches and are quite good at riding waves.

Swim in numbers, like the Aboriginals do, crocs don't attack a group of swimmers-FALSE. The recent tragic attack disproves this. Big croc brushed pass a group of tourists to attack its victim.

OK to swim south of Brisbane-TRUE, the crocs wont get you but the sharks will.

compressor stall
30th Oct 2002, 23:24
The swim in groups "myth" has some reality. In the olden days aboriginal family groups would wade across the Victoria River (croc infested) and put the old people on the outside of the group so they were eaten first.

Crocs are less likely to be found in surf along wide long beaches, but they still are!!

Have a look at a map - Salt Water crocs are found in Katherine Gorge, east of Katherine. Several hundred kms from the coast.

If you must swim in croc infested rivers and creeks, (and we've all done it) swim in a section which is shallow, and there are rock bars at each end and you can see what is coming for a good distance in any direction.

Oh and to dispell another myth - if you can see jonny crocs (freshwater crocs) there CAN STILL be salties around. (for the foreigners - freshwater crocs are up to 5 feet long and basically harmless to humans).

I remember seeing a freshie not too far away from my mask in a small billabong in Timber he was quite timid and almost cute :)

As a rule - if you are not sure - DONT SWIM!

That idiot tour guide - what was he thinking. There were even croc warning signs! Just sad that an innocent tourist was eaten.

redsnail
30th Oct 2002, 23:56
I've heard keep away from mangroves. Sandy open beaches are better. Proably because you have a better chance of seeing them.
Never swim where the cattle drink.
Never swim at the same place at the same time over several days in known croc areas. (Salties look for patterns, hence the no swimming where cows drink)
If in doubt, don't.
When on a boat and moored for a few days, don't chuck your waste over board. They love it. Seen from coastwatch patrols.
Sharks don't bother big salties. In fact, not much does.

separator
31st Oct 2002, 02:52
I always lived by a simple rule regarding crocs. If they kept out of my watering holes, I would keep out of their waterholes.

Seemed to work.

sep

Gnadenburg
31st Oct 2002, 04:57
Have seen crocs in the surf on a half dozen occasions.

I assume these fellows had been pushed out of their territory, say a river mouth, by a bigger croc. The open seas merely a voyage to greener pastures. They would be hungry on their travels!

Many years ago, on a wide and open beach in Arnhem Land, a big saltie lived in a tide fed, saltwater lagoon, just back from the beach.

Not that proud, on serious reflection, but it was a lot of fun to make a low pass over the top of him from upwind. In a blink of an eye, all 15 foot plus of him, would about face and hit the water with a huge splash.

Bit of an environmental vandal? Not as bad as hunting whales from A4 Skyhawks with Zuni rockets!

Can try, but never can beat the US Navy!

PLovett
31st Oct 2002, 06:39
Mate of mine who for a time was employed at Wyndham saw a group of Aboriginal children swimming in a river with a big croc on the opposite bank.:eek:

When he asked them why they were swimming with the croc so close, they replied:

"Him on the bank. We in the water."

"Him in the water. We on the bank"

Appears that they are territorial and with such a big specimen, they thought the water would be clear of other crocs.:rolleyes:

Don't think I would be ever tempted to try that one out.:confused: