MP blames ‘human stupidity’ for fatal North Queensland crocodile attack
Federal MP Warren Entsch has blamed the victim of a crocodile attack for ignoring warning signs, and said the apparent fatality should not spark a “vendetta” against crocodiles in northern Australia.
Speaking today (30th May), after Sunday night's fatality, Entsch stated "you can’t legislate against human stupidity.
“This is a tragedy but it was avoidable. There are warning signs everywhere up there.”
Queensland Police on Monday were still searching for the 46-year-old woman, who was attacked about 10.30pm as she and a friend swam in waist-deep water at Thornton Beach, north of the Daintree river.
Her friend, aged 47, survived but has been left in deep shock after trying in vain to pull the victim from the crocodile’s jaws.
Police later said the missing woman was from Oakey Park, just outside Lithgow in NSW, and that her friend was from the Cairns suburb of Trinity Beach.
Entsch, the MP for the Far North Queensland electorate of Leichhardt, said Thornton Beach was next to a creek where tourism operators ran croc-spotting tours, and the women would have seen the plentiful warning signs throughout the Daintree region.
He stated "you can only get there by ferry, and there are signs there saying watch out for the bloody crocodiles.
"if you go in swimming at 10 o’clock at night, you’re going to get consumed.”
Entsch said he feared the attack might spark a reactive debate about how to manage crocodiles, but people must remember the attack happened inside a national park in an area where visitors were warned about the dangers.
He added "let’s not start vendettas. It’s hard enough for some families to make a quid up there in the Daintree, showcasing crocs in their environment.
“People have to have some level of responsibility for their own actions.”
Police said the missing woman’s friend fought desperately to save her.
Queensland Police Senior Constable Russell Parker told ABC radio "(she) tried to grab her and drag her to safety and she just wasn’t able to do that.
“They had been walking along the beach and they’ve decided to go for a swim ... (but they) may not have been aware of the dangers.”
The friend ran to a nearby business to raise the alarm, and was taken to hospital suffering shock and grazes. The search for the missing woman is continuing.
Images: Saltwater crocodile attacks are frequently fatal (top), a warning sign of a type common throughout northern Australia (middle and Thornton Beach (below).
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