By Nelson Groom
A carload of ‘drunk’ Australians have been rescued from crocodile-infested waters after their vehicle was washed off a notorious crossing – while they were sitting on its ROOF.
The four-wheel drive was swept off Cahills Crossing, an infamous stretch of road between Kakadu and Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, at about 7pm on Monday (Dec 4).
Five of the group, who had allegedly been drinking alcohol, were reportedly sitting on the roof of the car when it plunged into the notorious saltwater croc feeding grounds.
Shocking images show their white Toyota almost completely submerged in the waters, where dozens of the deadly lizards are known to lurk and where fatalities have previously been reported.
Have a go heroes Clayton Dwyer and Nick Perkins leapt to the rescue of the group, reversing their landscaping truck into the perilous waters to help them to safety.
Clayton, 56, said: “We wanted to cross ourselves but decided it wasn’t worth the risk with our work gear, so we were waiting for the tide to go down.
“As soon as they went in we could see it happening. There was no time to get help and we decided we had a reasonable chance of getting them out.
“I backed in off the ramp and Nick was on the back of the truck. It was very awkward because of the angle and the car was full of work gear: I’m not sure how everyone fit.
“They were also rotten drunk. One of them even fell in the water at one point but he somehow got back. This is about the worst place in Australia for that to happen.”
Clayton said he did not have time to look out for crocs before leaping to the carload’s rescue.
He was later told scores of the reptiles – which can grow up to a staggering 20ft in length – had been sighted close to the crossing just hours before.
Numerous fatal crocodile attacks have been reported at Cahill’s over the years, including a man, 47, who was savaged this January and a 40-year-old man decapitated in 1987.
Northern Territory Police confirmed when they attended the scene all those involved had already safely got out of the water but urged drivers not to attempt the deadly crossing at high tide.
A spokesman said: “Jabiru Police were called at 7.20pm on December 4 to reports a car containing six people had been washed off Cahill’s Crossing.
“By the time police arrived, all six people had self-ejected from the vehicle and were waiting on the opposite side. They were later collected by family members.
“Police attended to make sure no one else attempted to cross while the submerged vehicle was still in situ.
“The advice from police is always to not attempt the crossing at any time other than low tide.
“It is a notorious crossing and this is not the first vehicle to be washed off there.”