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Australian capsize survivor says he threw tools at crocs


DARWIN, Australia A 72-year-old man told rescuers he threw spanners and spark plugs to keep crocodiles at bay after a crocodile capsized his boat in a northern Australian creek and his friend drowned, an official said.

The two tourists from the southern city of Bendigo were attempting to retrieve crab pots on Tuesday when a crocodile nudged their 3-meter (10-foot) boat and tipped it over at Leaders Creek, southwest of Darwin, said Ian Badham, director of the helicopter medical retrieval service CareFlight.

The drowned man, aged in his 50s, became trapped under the boat while the survivor scrambled upon the upturned hull.

The survivor said he threw spanners and spark plugs at approaching crocodiles as he dragged the boat toward mangroves where he sheltered for three hours, Badham said.

Three professional crabbers heard his shouts three hours later, rescued him and retrieved his friend’s body.

The survivor was treated for shock before he was flown to a Darwin hospital. He was later discharged.

Authorities have not yet released the identities of the survivor and the drowned man.

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