Body of crocodile victim pulled from Aussie river

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 26, 2013 at 4:24 am •  Published: August 26, 2013
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DARWIN, Australia (AP) — Police have recovered the body of a man who attempted to swim across a crocodile-infested river in the Australian Outback as well as the carcass of a crocodile that was shot by authorities, officials said Monday.

Sean Cole, 26, was snatched by a crocodile and dragged under the water Saturday as he and a friend were swimming in the Mary River during a birthday party.

Northern Territory wildlife ranger Tom Nichols said Cole's body and that of a 4.7-meter-long (15-foot, 5-inch) crocodile floated to the river surface early Monday. The crocodile was one of four that rangers shot in the hours after the attack.

"We believe that croc was responsible," Nichols said, though he noted that further tests to match the bite marks on Cole's body would be conducted.

Cole had been celebrating a friend's birthday at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, an Outback tourist destination 70 miles (110 kilometers) southeast of the Northern Territory capital of Darwin.

Nichols said Cole, an information technology professional from Darwin, either died of chest injuries or drowned as the 650 kilogram (1,430 pound) reptile dragged him under in a disorientating crocodile maneuver known as a death roll.

Moments after the attack, witnesses saw the crocodile swimming upstream with Cole's body still in its jaws, Nichols said.

Police Senior Constable Wade Rodgers, who coordinated the weekend search, said a report on the tragedy would be prepared for a coroner's investigation.

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