Two men on a fishing trip in the remote Northern Territory spent two days stranded in a tree above crocodile-infested waters before their concerned boss sent a helicopter to find them.
The men, aged in their 20s, were on a fishing trip on the Kakadu’s South Alligator River when their boat partially sank on Monday, forcing them to climb up a tree.
They men left all of their safety equipment and other supplies in the boat and spent two days in sweltering temperatures above 35 degrees and humidity above 90 per cent.
When their employer realised they had not returned, he hired a charter helicopter to search for them, a statement from non-profit medical group CareFlight says.
The men were able to reach a fire extinguisher in the boat, which they used to get the helicopter’s attention.
CareFlight’s Top End Rescue Helicopter was sent to the South Alligator boat ramp on Wednesday.
Rangers and friends brought the men to CareFlight’s medical team, who treated them for extreme dehydration and severe insect bites.
They were flown to Royal Darwin Hospital in a stable condition.
South Alligator River system is a popular destination for barramundi fishermen, but is also notorious for its crocodile population.
A 62-year-old man was killed by a salt-water 4.7-metre crocodile on the river in 2014 when he leaning into the water to washing or empty a bucket.
The man’s family told police at the time that they heard splashing sounds and turned around, but were not able to save him.
Wednesday’s rescue was reminiscent of an incident last year in which Careflight was called to recover a group of three Northern Territory fishermen stranded for two days near a crocodile-infested river.
On that occasion, the men had hoped for help from other fishermen in the area and waited two days after their boat ran out of fuel to call for help.