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NT men stranded on island in Daly River region, used esky lid to make ‘help’ sign

Two men have miraculously survived a boating accident in crocodile-infested waters and two days stranded on an island.

Two men are lucky to be alive after they swam through crocodile-infested waters and became stranded on an island without food and water.

The pair were sailing from the Daly River Boat Ramp toward Anson Bay in the Northern Territory when their boat hit a submerged object and sank within seconds.

Unable to trigger any alarms or make a phone call, the men swam against the tide in waters filled with saltwater crocodiles and made it to a nearby island.

They waited for two days and had no food or water but managed to make a “HELP” sign using an esky lid.

Miraculously, another vessel was sailing in the Daly River region when it came across debris of the men’s sunken boat.

The skipper of that vessel later found and rescued the stranded pair.

Both men were taken Royal Darwin Hospital to be assessed and were discharged later that same day.

NT Police Acting Sergeant Troy Harris said the men were very lucky to have survived because of the extreme heat, remoteness of the area and presence of saltwater crocodiles.

“We especially commend the skipper of the rescue vessel for saving these two men,” he said.

Sergeant Harris said the men took every safety precaution before their trip, even registering their trip with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

“When they got into trouble, their safety equipment was not readily accessible in the short time they had before sinking,” he said.

“They swam directly for the nearest land and made efforts to attract attention. Importantly, they stayed put.

“This incident highlights the need for a ‘grab bag’ with safety gear that is easily accessible, because the unexpected can happen, and it can happen in a matter of seconds.”


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