Father stranded in crocodile-infested waters overnight survives being eaten by clinging to a tree 

A man has survived a night in crocodile-infested waters by sleeping in a tree among mangroves after getting lost while out crab fishing near Cairns. 

Brian Duncan, 61, was feared to have been fatally attacked by a crocodile in Chinaman Creek when he didn’t return home on Wednesday night, sparking a large scale air and ground search.

The 61-year-old finally waved a boat down just after midday on Thursday after two previous passers failed to see him in the mangroves. 

‘I’ve apologised to everyone. Yeah I’ve made a big mess,’ he said, speaking to the media after he was found.

Brian Duncan, 61, (pictured) survived a night in crocodile-infested waters by sleeping in a tree among mangroves after getting lost while out crab fishing near Cairns

‘The tide was coming in when I was walking back,’ Mr Duncan told media after he had been found.

‘And I’m not going to walk through water that deep – not when it’s starting to get dark – so I went up a tree and spent the night.’

Mr Duncan explained he chose to climb the tree because it had a ‘good vantage point’ for the rescue helicopter to see him.

‘Then just as I got in the canopy the helicopter flew over,’ Mr Duncan said. 

The man’s 30-year-old son, who is also a keen fisherman, went out this morning to the popular crabbing spot to search for his dad. 

A 61-year-old man was feared to have been attacked by a crocodile after he failed to return home last night. 'There is a possibility that a crocodile could be involved,' Sergeant Dyett said

A 61-year-old man was feared to have been attacked by a crocodile after he failed to return home last night. ‘There is a possibility that a crocodile could be involved,’ Sergeant Dyett said

'I've apologised to everyone. Yeah I've made a big mess,' he said, speaking to the media after he was found when he waved a boat down just after midday 

‘I’ve apologised to everyone. Yeah I’ve made a big mess,’ he said, speaking to the media after he was found when he waved a boat down just after midday 

‘He’s rung his wife and said he was going to put some crab pots in before he went home,’ Acting Senior Sergeant Gil Dyett told the media earlier today.

‘He could have been bitten by a snake, he could have been injured,’ Sergeant Dyett said.

‘But obviously we’ve got to be real, and there is a possibility that a crocodile could be involved.’  

Despite the dangers, Mr Duncan was reunited with his family – uninjured and covered in mud. 

‘He’s got a few mozi bites on him but other than that he’s fine,’ Sergeant Gil Dyett said. 

A large scale air and ground search was launched due to fears Mr Duncan had been attacked by a crocodile in Chinaman Creek when he didn't return home last night

A large scale air and ground search was launched due to fears Mr Duncan had been attacked by a crocodile in Chinaman Creek when he didn’t return home last night

Despite the dangers, Mr Duncan was reunited with his family - uninjured and covered in mud. 'He's got a few mozi bites on him but other than that he's fine,' Sergeant Gil Dyett said

Despite the dangers, Mr Duncan was reunited with his family – uninjured and covered in mud. ‘He’s got a few mozi bites on him but other than that he’s fine,’ Sergeant Gil Dyett said

The man held a senior position with CSF Steel Fabricators (pictured) and his colleagues and family members searched for him when he failed to come home 

The man held a senior position with CSF Steel Fabricators (pictured) and his colleagues and family members searched for him when he failed to come home 



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