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Salt water crocodile attack at Blue Water Mangroves


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#61 divewriter

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 09:30 AM

Hi Drew and everyone else,

I've been following this discussion and am heartened to see that divers have a real empathy for the animals they dive with. This diver's story is compelling and important to share, both for the aspect of simply working to be safe in the water but also for the fact that, as many of the forum participants have noted, acknowledging that we are in THEIR territory and must assume risk. Determining what level of risk is acceptable is a discussion in itself.

Is there a way I could contact David -- I don't know his last name or his address -- to discuss dong a story? I have no desire to invade his privacy or to cast any blame on either him, the operator or the croc. It's simply a story of a sporting accident that we can all learn from, on so many levels.

---Divewriter

I've been in contact with David and he's back at home resting after the surgeries to repair the damage.
I think part of the confusion came about because the boat operator felt I've accused them of trying to hunt the croc, which I did not. As Mark Erdmann has mentioned, anyone doing the culling will be from the PHKA or locals doing their thing. If I've inadvertently alluded that the Ondina operation has those plans, I apologize for not making it absolutely clear that is not the case. No operator has openly asked for the croc to be removed from the area, AFAIK.
I don't pretend to know all the facts but I've been told by PHKA there is no plan right now to cull the croc in question. The option of radio tagging the injured croc has proposed to CI.
Hopefully the operators whose clients do request to go to the area will support such measures for the safety of their clients. It's such a beautiful area that to close it off for divers would be a pity. Not to make light of David's injuries or the risks, but it seems Lauren's camera rig may have thwarted the attack by providing a barrier.
It is a testament to David's experience and fortitude that he managed to live to tell the tale.



#62 Drew

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 04:47 PM

Divewriter
David has registered here as a member so hopefully he will contact you if he wishes. I can't act as an intermediary to a pseudonym unfortunately.:) :) Good luck with your story.

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#63 divewriter

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 06:06 AM

Thanks, Drew. Of course I understand. My name is Renee Duncan, and I was editor of DAN's Alert Diver magazine for 15 years. I am now retired but still free-lancing from the Keys. David's story would be a welcome addition to Alert Diver, if he wants to talk about it. If not, then I understand.

Divewriter
David has registered here as a member so hopefully he will contact you if he wishes. I can't act as an intermediary to a pseudonym unfortunately.:) :) Good luck with your story.



#64 laurengreider

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:52 PM

Drew,

I've been curious about how David is doing healing from his injuries and if anyone is still diving the area. Any news?

#65 Drew

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 08:29 AM

AFAIK, David is well on the mend. I haven't paid attention to who has gone to Nampale after the incident, just those who publicly say they won't go back. I'd still go. :)

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#66 raja.diver

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:08 AM

I am 'the' David who grappled with the croc. I am recovering slowly. Hopefully, the dramatic scars on my arms won't fade completely. I am convinced that in my case they make me more handsome.

I want to thank Drew, Eric, Alex (Mustard) and the entire wetpixel community for your kind messages of support. In particular I want to express my appreciation to the Alex[es] (Safanov Sr & Jr), Fernando and Alfie who were with me on the Ondina and have been in touch.

I am in the process of writing about my experience and I would very much like to hear from any of you who have:

a) been diving in the Nampale Blue Water Mangroves since 13 April 2009.
b) seen a crocodile there at any time in the past.
c) been actively searching for a crocodile there at any point (whether you found it or not.)
d) had a diving encounter with a wild, untethered, saltwater crocodile anywhere, not just at the BWM.
e) been on the Ondina on my cruise.

Please drop me a personal message. I'd love to chat with you. Let me know how to reach you.

Once I have finished writing I will post a link here for these who wish to read it.

Edited by raja.diver, 07 June 2009 - 11:04 AM.


#67 vazuw

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:12 AM

Glad to hear you're doing well. I too have been on the ondina several times. I have nothing but good to say of the boat and crew. I have also been diving in the area , where you were confronted. I remember hoping to see one. I guess I was lucky/unlucky.I hope they still go there. Hope you continue to dive.

#68 CamDiver

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 04:09 PM

Glad to hear that you are doing well David, speedy recovery.

Also happy to note the poll answers. I can't believe the sentiments of a celebrated snapper I recently met on my travels who's steadfast reaction was to shoot the animal to make the area safe for tourism dollars again. That really shocked me to hear, given the person airing that view.

Cheers and get well soon David.
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#69 photoagent101

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 06:08 PM

I have to put my two cents in here. I absolutely cannot believe that anyone would consider killing a crocodile who happened to harm a diver intruding on his territory. Well, I can believe it -- but I can't believe that any underwater photographer or underwater enthusiast would consider this.

The poll is fine, but where is the choice of: leave the animal alone, and don't dive at the site any longer. Since when has diving a particular site been so important that animals must be killed or removed so that divers and underwater photographers can dive it "safely."

I am not often shocked at how narrow-minded and selfish the human race is, never mind underwater photographers. But I am shocked at some of the comments and opinions here. We have the entire world to visit and dive in. If a place is unsafe, then let's avoid it.

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#70 Drew

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 05:10 AM

Here is David's article on his encounter. He is still recovering from the injuries suffered from the attack.

http://www.divernet....ile_attack.html

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#71 tdpriest

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:08 AM

I know that David isn't a photographer, but I would like to express my thanks for his article, for sharing his experience with the diving community.

Having dived Nampele, I'm not afraid to say that I would go back, but I would be horrified to hear of a crocodile being killed or even moved just because I wanted to.

If the chance of an attack is high, then we shouldn't go back, no matter how tempting the site is.

http://wetpixel.com/...-1241892478.jpg

Tim

:)

Edited by tdpriest, 22 January 2010 - 06:11 AM.


#72 NCmermaid

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:57 AM

If the chance of an attack is high, then we shouldn't go back, no matter how tempting the site is.
http://wetpixel.com/...-1241892478.jpg
Tim
:)

I know this is "off topic" but Tim, that shot is gorgeous!!!!! Can you provide details--lens, port combo?
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#73 John Bantin

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:42 AM

I shot this wobbegong there two weeks ago!

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#74 colinm

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:22 AM

I shot this wobbegong there two weeks ago!



Weird looking Wobbie

#75 MikeVeitch

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:48 AM

John, your WB is a bit off... sort of green

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#76 John Bantin

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:50 AM

John, your WB is a bit off... sort of green


It's very grainy too because it needed enlarging in the frame. I shot it in rapidly receding perspective!
Didn't get round to calling on you in January 2/3 on the way to RA. The guy I was with wanted to do a tour so we spent all day in a car with a guy with a bad cold. Thanks KBR!

By the way, we published David's story in the January edition of Diver Mag and you can read it here: http://www.divernet....ile_attack.html

Edited by John Bantin, 23 January 2010 - 03:16 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#77 MikeVeitch

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 07:15 AM

I noticed you didn't call.. you were at KBR!? I thought Manado.. KBR is only 5 mins from me!

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#78 Drew

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:15 AM

It's very grainy too because it needed enlarging in the frame. I shot it in rapidly receding perspective!


Now now John, let's not make fun of Mike's hairline! Did you actually see an one eyed croc? Would be interesting to know if David's assailant is still around.

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#79 John Bantin

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 09:03 AM

I noticed you didn't call.. you were at KBR!? I thought Manado.. KBR is only 5 mins from me!



Blame Jim. I wasn't sure which resort you were at. Did you pick up the antiques OK?

Drew, Was that a croc? I heard that wobbegongs could bite - and by the way, I had more hair than you until I was around 50. Be warned!

Edited by John Bantin, 23 January 2010 - 09:06 AM.

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#80 John Bantin

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:44 PM

OK, I'll come clean. In the current tradition of Wildlife Photography competitions, I photographed that one in the NT Australia. Here's another pic. I took a little closer.
This is what I know about salties. They can outrun a racehorse on land. Their reaction times are 60 times faster than a man. They capture bigger prey, drown it and hide it, using it to attract smaller prey that come to feast on the rotting carcase. They swim large distances. The only animal they will not tolerate in their range is another saltwater crocodile. Females are often killed by larger males during the mating process. Females defend their eggs and are good mothers. Oh yes, and I am frightened of them!

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Edited by John Bantin, 23 January 2010 - 11:48 PM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?