More confirmed croc sightings at Boathaven Bay

Whitsunday residents Pete Collingwood and Suzanne Crabtree have seen a crocodile at Boathaven Bay on two separate occasions, one of which involved accidentally hooking the reptile on the end of their fishing line.
Whitsunday residents Pete Collingwood and Suzanne Crabtree have seen a crocodile at Boathaven Bay on two separate occasions, one of which involved accidentally hooking the reptile on the end of their fishing line.

THE story in last week's Whitsunday Times about a crocodile sighting in Boathaven Bay has prompted more Whitsunday residents to come forward with their own accounts.

Suzanne Crabtree says she saw a saltwater crocodile in the same location at about 10.30pm almost eight months ago.

Ms Crabtree, her partner Pete Collingwood and his son Lachlan, were fishing off the rock wall near the car park at The Beacons when Mr Collingwood actually hooked a crocodile.

Ms Crabtree said they had a thick hand line out, baited with a big pilchard about 1.5 metres under the surface and a balloon attached to the line as a float.

"Lachlan and I were sitting there looking out towards the balloon [and] we saw it [the crocodile] rise to just under the top of the water, about half-a-metre away from our balloon," she said.

"I jumped up in a panic, not sure what to do [and the] next minute our balloon and line started to drift off."

Ms Crabtree said her partner started pulling the line in but as soon as she tried to help the crocodile resisted, flinging its tail out of the water and snapping the line, which rebounded, hitting Mr Collingwood in the face.

The family saw no more of the crocodile that night, but about four months later, Mr Collingwood said he caught another glimpse, this time in broad daylight at about 11.30am.

Mr Collingwood and Ms Crabtree say far from scaremongering they just want people to be crocodile aware.

"We've tried to tell people, but no-one really believes you," Mr Collingwood said.

"We just want people to be careful, that's all."

Ms Crabtree said the family still continued to fish "but from the top of the rocks".

"We don't go down to the water," she said.

Topics:  crocodile sightings

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