Fisherman survives croc attack at Weipa
A WEIPA fisherman desperately held on to a tree and screamed for help from his mates as a monster croc bit into his legs and tried to pull him under the water.
Rangers will converge on Weipa today to try to catch the aggressive croc that attacked Rio Tinto mine worker Todd Bairstow, 28, as he was fishing on the banks of Trunding Creek yesterday.
Mr Bairstow was fishing in the creek near Albatross Bay Resort, about 4.10pm, when the crocodile lunged at him and tore off his finger.
The crocodile lunged again, grabbed his legs and tried to pull him into the water.
Albatross Bay Resort manager Greg Shean said Mr Bairstow clung to a tree and screamed for help while the crocodile held his legs.
"The man was fishing with a lure and he was casting a lure out into the water when the croc came up from under the water and snapped at his hand," Mr Shean said.
"The croc managed to snap off his finger but the man was lucky enough to be able to pull his hand away.
"He has then slipped so his legs were dangling in the water so the croc has grabbed them and tried pulling him into the water. He grabbed hold of a branch and yelled for help and one of his mates, who was on the pub veranda, heard him and ran down.
"His mate hit the croc over the nose with a big branch causing the croc to let go of the man."
Mr Shean said the crocodile was often spotted swimming up and down the creek near the hotel.
A Queensland Police spokesman said while the man suffered extensive lacerations and dislocated bones, his injuries were not life-threatening.
The man was flown last night by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Cairns Base Hospital for treatment.
The Department of Environment and Resource Management said they would be targeting the crocodile for removal today.
"A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service ranger stationed at Weipa is installing recent croc sighting signs," DERM Acting Director for Wildlife Mike Devery said.
"A DERM croc expert will fly in from Cairns tomorrow to attempt to identify and catch the crocodile responsible and remove it."
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Victim: A croc attack victim is taken into Cairns Base Hospital after suffering serious injuries to his legs near Weipa. Picture: MARC McCORMACK