Police Find Body Snatched by Crocodile During Birthday Party

A daring stunt cost an Australian man his life

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A birthday party in the Australian Outback went horribly awry Saturday when a crocodile engulfed a swimmer and pulled him underwater. After a weekend-long search, police reported Monday that the body of Sean Cole, 26, has been recovered, the Associated Press reports.

Cole and a friend had attempted to swim across a 260-foot-wide, “crocodile-infested” river during a 30th birthday party in the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, a touristy spot in the Outback near Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory. Tom Nichols, Northern Territory wildlife ranger, told the AP that witnesses saw the crocodile making its way upstream with the victim’s body in its mouth.

(MORE: 15,000 Crocodiles Escape from South Africa Farm)

Early Monday morning, officials found Cole’s body floating on the river’s surface, along with the carcass of a crocodile, which was more than 15 feet, 5 inches, long and weighed more than 1,430 pounds. Authorities believe the victim was either drowned or crushed to death by the crocodile, which was one of four shot by park rangers in the aftermath of the attack, the AP reports. It is possible that Cole, an IT worker from Darwin, had been under the influence of alcohol when he decided to swim across the river, Senior Sergeant Geoff Bahnert told the AP over the weekend.

The Mary River is notoriously dangerous for swimming as the Northern Territory boasts one of the highest concentrations of crocodiles in the world. Dr. Grahame Webb, an expert on the area’s crocodile population, told The Guardian “there were about 20 times more crocodiles in the territory now compared with 1971, when saltwater crocodiles were officially protected.” In November 2012, a crocodile fatally attacked a 7-year-old girl, and two weeks later, another one killed a 9-year-old boy. As a result, signs all over the Mary River Wilderness Retreat warn guests not to go swimming and not to stand within 16 feet of the water’s edge so that they stay out of the crocodiles’ reach.

(MORE: Cat Fights Off Crocodile)

23 comments
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DavelaCannonSr.
DavelaCannonSr.

Ok this is a perfect opportunity to give out Darwin Awards...

bphillips422
bphillips422

So there is a IT job open in that area. Hmmmm, I may apply.

AmericanMetis
AmericanMetis

An Ozzie inkahol alvolved!


...hold my beer & watch this.

GrannySmith
GrannySmith

You've got to be real smart to cross a known "crocodile invested river".

jsquaredone
jsquaredone

I am not even remotely an animal lover but......Some screwballs get drunk and swim in an alligator infested river. An alligator doing what alligators do swims down the river and snatches some lunch. The guy was an idiot and it is somewhat sads that he is dead.


But to respond by shooting five alligators is nuts. The alligator was just doing what nature told him to do. In this circumstance the human being was the buffoon.

SuperWittySmitty
SuperWittySmitty

Wait, during the party, police found this body? Who invites the police to their birthday party?

mills_abbot
mills_abbot

@TIME Here we only have to worry about cougars snatching men from a party.

RachitVats
RachitVats

Party for croc, doom for man Rt“@TIME: Police find body of man snatched by crocodile during party in Australia ti.me/17hlqL8

msmith6791
msmith6791

Can't understand how anyone could put on a party near such a dangerous place and not have anyone monitoring the situation and protecting everyone. Does that make sense?  And then to go swimming somewhere, where there are lots of crocodiles.  Defies logic and common sense?

Klaatu01
Klaatu01

@eagle11772   I agree...a clear winner for 2013!!   you just cant fix stupid!

Openminded1
Openminded1

@jsquaredone Dummy it was a Crocodile not alligator and yes the guy was a dummy like most people who get drunk and do stupid stuff. you must have been drunk when you read the story an alligator is not a Crocodile, they are cousins but two different species.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@msmith6791 They drink a lot in the outback and all think they are macho men, thus do stupid things like swim with 15 foot crocodiles. drunk driving,sex while drunk, drunk at work, drunk flying an airplane all stupid,swimming with monster Crocodiles beyond stupid, you get what stupid is areal bad way to die.