Mystery surrounds kayaker hit by crocodile attack

THE identity of a 49-year-old kayaker whose vessel was attacked by a crocodile remains a mystery.

 Yeppoon Coast Guard, flotilla commander Arthur Hunt said on  Saturday morning, the local Police Search and Rescue co-ordinator was advised by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority that an unregistered distress beacon had been activated in the vicinity of Shoalwater Bay.

"The Coast Guard flotillas at Stanage Bay and Yeppoon were alerted but it was decided to active the Capricorn Rescue Helicopter. 

"The helicopter found a solo kayaker who had been stranded on Townshend Island for four days after being attacked by a crocodile on his trip from Yeppoon to Stanage Bay. 

"The Coast Guard was not aware that this trip had been undertaken and that the kayaker was overdue. 

"The kayaker was transported by the helicopter to Stanage Bay where his car was parked so that he could return home.".

RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service rescued a man from Townshend Island after a croc attacked his kayak.Photo Contributed
RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service rescued a man from Townshend Island after a croc attacked his kayak.Photo Contributed Contributed

EARLIER: A MAN left stranded on Townshend Island for four days after a crocodile sank its teeth into his kayak was rescued yesterday morning.

The 49-year-old kayaker had planned a trip from Yeppoon to Stanage Bay, and was attacked about 3km off Townshend Island in the Shoalwater Bay area, about 111km north of Rockhampton.

The man, whose identity is currently unknown, was rescued yesterday morning after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Search Rescue detected his distress beacon about 7am.

An AMSA spokeswoman said the man told rescuers when the beast attacked, it was the "fastest he's ever paddled".

The Yeppoon Coastguard this morning said they were unable to respond due to poor conditions and distance, and the man's trip wasn't lodged with them.

They were unable to confirm whether the man was local or a visitor.

Police made the decision to contact the AMSA who tasked the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service out of Rockhampton.

RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue reported a search was conducted via GPS coordinates, and the poor conditions of the sea had prevented the man from leaving.

"The kayaker was in good health due to rationing water and food over the time," they reported.

"Eventually making the decision to set his beacon off in distress."

The man had purchased his emergency beacon for a planned trip from Yeppoon to Stanage Bay.

Although not registered, the AMSA said it was vital to the rescue of the kayaker.

AMSA urges anyone venturing into remote areas, on water and land, to have a registered GPS econded beacon.

Earlier this year, The Morning Bulletin reported Yeppoon locals had sighted a five-metre crocodile at a popular Emu Park fishing spot.

A Yeppoon jet skier spotted the monster crocodile at Coorooman Creek in late May. Sonia Tomkinson was fishing off jet skis with her boyfriend in the creek near Emu Park when two fishermen warned them about a five-metre-long croc sunbaking on the bank.

Soon after, Yeppoon resident Graham Leicht was crabbing at Coorooman Creek, Emu Park two weeks ago when he came within 15 metres of this crocodile.

Crocodile sightings reported to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in 2016:

4/01/2016: Crocodile reported at Coorooman boat ramp, Emu Park.

The client was advised to conduct crocwise behaviour.

7/01/2016: Crocodile reported in Springers Lagoon, Gracemere.

Site assessment was undertaken and revealed no evidence of a crocodile. The lagoon is isolated from the Fitzroy River and on private property.

22/01/2016: Crocodile reported in Ross Creek, Yeppoon.

Recent crocodile sighting signs have been deployed.

25/01/2016: Crocodile reported off Main Beach, Yeppoon.

Recent crocodile sighting signs have been deployed. Yeppoon SLSC will monitor the beach.

10/05/2016: Crocodile reported in Lotus lagoon, near Rockhampton Airport.

Report is outside the Rockhampton Crocodile Urban Management Area. No further action.



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