A New Zealand kayaker has had an amazing escape after becoming trapped on a remote WA island for more than two weeks by a massive crocodile who would not let him leave.
The man, known only as Ryan, was last month exploring the northern WA coast near Kalumburu, which is between Derby and Kununurra.
Having been left on the remote Governor Island, the Kiwi realised he didn’t have enough supplies and attempted to paddle the four kilometres or so back to the mainland.
But he immediately caught the eye of the six-metre saltwater crocodile who has lived in the area for years.
Every time he attempted to leave, the crocodile would make his presence felt, leaving the adventurer stranded for a fortnight.
On Saturday, local Don McLeod spotted a light on the island, and when he checked it out, the hatless, shirtless and desperate visitor approached.
“When I came round through Red Bluff opposite Governor Island I saw a flash in the scrub,” Mr McLeod told ABC radio.
“I went across and Ryan came out looking a bit distraught.
“He came down the beach, he had no hat on and no shirt on.
“He was relieved and shocked, and thankful someone had come along because he was running out of options pretty quickly.
“He is a very, very lucky man.”
Ryan’s passage to WA was an incredible story in itself, having travelled from Queensland to the Kimberley on a yacht whose owner was then jailed in the Northern Territory, leaving his passenger stranded for two months.
After hitching a lift with a solo yachtsman from the Territory to WA, he was dropped on Governor Island with 160 litres of water, some flour and dry stores.
But after realising he was unprepared for the Kimberley wilderness, his first attempt to reach the mainland was thwarted by the massive crocodile.
Mr McLeod said the story was incredible.
“He said every time he got in his little kayak, which was only 2.5m long, this crocodile - who has lived there for many years and is a monster - has chased him,” Mr McLeod said.
“He was desperate for water when I trotted up.
“We gave him a cold beer, which was probably the wrong thing, and then he went to sleep about three-quarters of the way home.”
The New Zealander has been given a bed at a mission on the mainland as he recovers.
Attempts to contact him have so far been unsuccessful.