Man’s swift escape as croc grabs tube

2011-02-01 00:00

A DAY out tubing on the Mooi River near Muden turned to high drama when one man’s tube was grabbed by a crocodile, churned over and over in a death roll, and punctured by the creature.

Brandon Payn (18) told The Witness he was floating down the river and had just gone over a small waterfall near the Ivala Lodge when a croc latched onto his tube.

“As it lunged towards me it grazed my leg. I pushed it away and leapt off the tube onto my brother-in-law’s tube nearby. The croc grabbed the tube and swam off with it,” Payn said.

He described seeing the two-metre croc churning up the water, and seeing the punctured tube afterwards. Asked what the croc did then, Payn said he was not sure as the group hightailed it away from the area. “It happened so fast.”

Payn was with three other tubers and a pair on a raft.

Asked if he would be heading back there anytime soon, Payn said it was unlikely. He said it was well known that there were crocs inhabiting that section of the river.

Payn has just finished matric at Newcastle High and is currently working on a farm at Greytown.

Fellow river tuber Andrew du Plessis, who is also a canoeist and has entered the Duzi canoe marathon, said he had seen a few crocodiles at that spot before.

“It was a frightening experience,” he said. “I won’t go tubing there again.”

But Du Plessis remains nonchalant about the crocs at the end of the Duzi race in the Umgeni River.

He also had another encounter with a large reptile when a guest coming onto the farm he manages at Muden reported seeing a three-and-a-half-metre python near the farm gate at the weekend. “I was glad to hear there was one around. It’s the mambas that are scary.”

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