Horror details as fisherman feared dead in croc attack: 'Came out of nowhere'

Authorities are still looking for the pub owner's body following the incident at the popular camping area.

A beloved fisherman is believed to be dead after a crocodile reportedly "came out of nowhere" at a popular camping spot, with the hunt for his body still continuing.

The harrowing incident occurred when Kevin Darmody, 65, was fishing at about 3.30pm on Saturday at the Kennedy River in the Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park, and he was suddenly snatched by a crocodile and taken into the depths of the river.

Before disappearing, the local man, who ran the Peninsula Hotel in the small Queensland town of Laura, had been seen by his two mates "a few minutes earlier". The only thing reportedly left behind was "a pair of thongs on the bank", they said.

A photo of Kevin Darmody holding a fish.
Kevin Darmody is believed to be dead after being snatched by a crocodile and taken into the Kennedy River. Source: Facebook

“A lad came up on the road shouting ‘he’s gone, he’s gone’ and my mate ran down the bank, and said the water was all stirred up and dirty, you could see something bad happened,” Cooktown local Bart Harrison told The Courier Mail.

“He had lived up here since I was a kid, been at the pub a long time, went fishing a lot, he knew the river pretty well, it really is sad."

Authorities are still trying to find his remains, with CrocWise spokesperson Dan Hammersley telling Nine News on Monday morning that several vehicles and boats were searching the river overnight. Large crocodiles are known to frequent the river, he said.

Tributes flow for 'top bloke'

A good friend of Mr Darmody, affectionally known as "Stumpy" shared the tragic news on a Cape York information group, garnering lots of tributes for the beloved local.

"I am told by his brother that 3 of them where fishing at the same spot and it seems the croc came out of nowhere behind them and took him into the river! as [sic] to now his body has not been found!" he posted on Sunday night. "RIP Kevin Darmody."

"So terribly sad news. Had the pleasure of meeting Kevin last year when passing through Laura. Stayed at the back of the pub. He was truly a top bloke. Condolences to his family and friends," another said.

"Such a sad day. Kev was a great man to us, glad we had that opportunity. He told the best yarns and taught us a lot. Love ya mate!" a third person wrote online.

Mr Hammersley from CrocWise told The Courier Mail that "crocodiles potentially would still be breeding in the area". He added that "the Kennedy Bend campgrounds should have been inaccessible" due to being closed during the wet season.

Speaking to the ABC on Monday, former Queensland Fisheries officer Kym Anderson said he was "well familiar with the area where the gentleman was taken", adding that "it is the inherent risk of living and fishing in a crocodile environment".

"Crocodile populations have certainly bounced back," he said.

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