Crocodile attack: A 16-foot crocodile grabbed Sean Cole “between its jaws and dragged him under the surface of the muddy river” when Sean Cole and his friend went swimming in one of the most crocodile-infested rivers in Australia at a birthday party on Saturday, reported The Sydney Morning Herald on Aug. 25, 2013.
The crocodile attack which happened around 4 p.m. on Saturday has searchers looking for the remains of Sean Cole, but so far there have not been any signs of him.
On Saturday afternoon, Sean Cole was celebrating the 30th birthday of a friend on the banks of the Northern Territory’s Mary River, about 65 miles (100km) from Darwin, the state's capital.
Despite verbal warnings and several warning signs from staff at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat and Caravan Park that the river had the greatest population of adult saltwater crocodiles in the world and to stay at least five meters away from the river’s banks, Sean Cole and one of his 15 friends decided to go for a swim.
Sean Cole and his friend made it across the muddy water of the river, but when they were on their way back, the 16-foot (5 meters) crocodile was waiting for them.
As Sean Cole’s friends watched helplessly in horror, the 16-foot crocodile grabbed Sean Cole between its jaws and dragged him under the surface of the muddy river. Sean Cole has not been seen since.
According to Senior Sergeant Geoff Bahnert, “several of the group in the party witnessed the male being taken in the jaws of the croc for a period of time, and then he was out of sight.”
Following the crocodile attack, police and a crocodile management team arrived at the river before it got dark on Saturday to search for Sean Cole. One officer shot one of the largest crocodiles found in the area but it is uncertain whether it was the crocodile that had attacked the swimmer.
Saltwater crocodiles can grow up to 23 feet (7 meters) and weigh more than a ton. They are common inhabitants of the rivers of Australia's tropical north and usually disable their prey by holding them under water for a period of time.
As of Sunday, Sean Cole’s friends are still watching officials drag the river for any signs of Sean Cole who is reportedly in his mid-twenties. Like Sean Cole’s parents and sister, who also arrived at the scene of the crocodile attack, they are learning to accept the inevitable fact that they will never see Sean Cole again.