Tubing adventure turns into croc horror

2011-01-31 23:05

Pietermaritzburg - 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 crocodile 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 2m crocodile churning up the water, and seeing the punctured tube afterwards. Asked what the crocodile 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 crocodiles 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 3.5m python near the farm gate at the weekend.

“I was glad to hear there was one around. It’s the mambas that are scary.”

  • Macho Mike - 2011-01-31 23:26

    So Payn said it was well known that there were crocodiles inhabiting that section of the river! Shows he has as much intelligence as the tube he was sitting on. These are crocs china, not grasshoppers.

      duvan.bence - 2011-02-01 10:14

      And the worst is that if one of the guys were killed by the croc we would blame the animal, The man killer would be hunted and killed to prevent this from happening again. Use common sense and stay out of the water.

      marcanthonytaylor - 2011-02-01 14:38

      It is well known that there are sharks in SA's waters too, it is also very well known that there are fatal shark attacks along SA's coast. Does that knowledge keep us out the water? Ditto SA's wild dangerous wild life, does that keep us away? I think not. Has nothing to do with intelligence Mr Mensa

      SharkBait - 2011-02-01 21:18

      @marcanthonytaylor: It has ALL got to do with intelligence! People swim where there are sharknets. Surfers know the risk of surfing with sharks. However, crocs WILL always attack.

      marcanthonytaylor - 2011-02-02 00:37

      If people swim where there are shark nets, how is it that people get attacked by sharks?

      Gorilla - 2011-02-02 08:58

      Umm SharkBait? No not really...

      Craig - 2011-02-02 09:19

      I bet if you add machomikes and sharkbaits IQ's together you wouldn't get into double figures.

      Neo - 2011-02-02 15:11

      Did you hear about the one where a SA guy emigrated to the Australian cyclone area? Talk about living on the edge.

      grant9 - 2011-07-08 03:45

      We all take risks in life. I and my mates used to swim and paddle canoes at Chirundu on the Zambesie. Lets face it if you ride a motorbike you have far more chance of being taken out by a taxi than being attacked by a croc in the river. In my 57 years I've only met one person who's been bitten by crock. it was in the ricer at Sodwana Bay. The poor peki accidently stood on it.

  • AJ - 2011-02-01 05:20

    "He said it was well known that there were crocodiles inhabiting that section of the river" - Yeah, but let's do it anyway, cause it's fun!

      Grant - 2011-02-01 11:32

      Sounds dumb, I know...but sharks are also known to be in a lot of areas where people swim and surf. There's always some degree of risk in any natural setting. It would be interresting to know how many people have been swimming or tubing in that area in the past few put the attack into perspective.

  • gfscholtz - 2011-02-01 06:00

    Gene pool needs cleaning

      Flee - 2011-02-01 10:24

      With a Sh*t load of Jik.....

      SharkBait - 2011-02-01 21:19

      Maybe this guy was trying to qualify for the Darwin award

  • BigPig69 - 2011-02-01 06:34

    Bright as a brick are we..... Oh wait, we can still build with a brick. Come on be a man, go tease the crocs some more

      betweenu&me - 2011-02-01 11:06

      Boys will be boys

  • Bite_Me - 2011-02-01 07:15

    'Special' boys this lot...

  • Joy - 2011-02-01 07:27


  • May - 2011-02-01 07:28

    He just missed out on a Darwin Award ......Maybe next time ......

      Bill Xhosa - 2011-02-02 01:38

      My thoughts exactly. I know when you are young you don't consider death as likely but I thought there was a lower limit to stupidity?

  • durbsviking - 2011-02-01 07:39

    Yet every one of you guys that criticize this oke get in your cars and drive to work every day. Perhaps 5 people die from crocs in a year, 18000 from car accidents. People have been tubing that section for years, and will do for years, and the likelihood is nothing will ever happen to them. Live a little. If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space.

      Jakkals - 2011-02-01 08:02

      Darrem een mens wat sense praat.

      Viv - 2011-02-01 08:15

      A slight difference to 'living a little' and being bloody stupid. Why not take a bath in some chicken blood and throw yourself down the river if you fancy 'living on the edge'. Chop

      durbsviking - 2011-02-01 08:25

      Viv - why add the "chop" part. Do you always add some character slur when you do not agree with people, or is it just because you are anonymous and it makes you feel clever. Drive to that river on the weekend, it is FULL of tubers, fishermen, the bundle. This guy was not "attacked" by a croc - it bit his tube. What you are saying is that every river in SA that has some danger should be a no-go area?. Someone died on Dusi in 2000 - let's ban it. Some drowned in the ocean last week in PSJ, ban swimming.

      modefan - 2011-02-01 08:34

      If I had to choose, I'd rather die in a car accident than be something's lunch, just saying

      Ryanbrew - 2011-02-01 08:41

      @durbsviking - I Agree with you. How many of these same people criticising will swim in the sea - but there are sharks in the sea. Just a few weeks ago a surfer died from a shark attack. Yet all still swim in the sea. So whats the difference? Crocs do not ussually attack human beings. The scarier animal to worry about is actually Hippo's! You have less chance being killed by crocodiles swimming in this same section of the river than you would have being killed while driving to get there!

      Great White - 2011-02-01 09:35

      Agreed durbsviking. These armchair critics seem to get a hard on by sniping at other peoples activities. Powerful tool a keyboard. While they're at it, why don't they have a go at surfers, circus acrobats and motor racing. The world's your oyster guys; slurp away.

      Viv - 2011-02-01 13:36

      Durbsviking if you have to ask why then you are a chop! And I would say it to your face. Your the one telling the rest of us that we are taking up too much space. Can dish it but cant take it hey. Um...where did I say that every river in SA that has some danger should be a no-go area? Where exactly?? Or are you making ass-sumptions?? I think your broeks are cutting blood flow off to your brain mate.

      GT - 2011-02-01 14:10

      @Ryan - crocs attack humans all the time, all they look for is an opportunity. However, if you are willing to test your theory, I will bring the TV camera's you bring your speedo and I will film you swimming across the St Lucia estuary. R1 million rand if you make it.

      durbsviking - 2011-02-01 18:28

      Viv - you are a really nice person, you must have loads of friends. The "If you are not living on the edge .." is a saying, not a statement. I think most people got it. You were the one that made a leap from tubing down a river to soaking yourself in blood, so balance and thoughtfulness does not appear to be one of your strong points. But whatever, you carry on. What you think is of no concern to me.

      Viv - 2011-02-02 08:26

      Of no concern that you had to comment, not once but twice! Bwhahahahah. And yet again making such clever little boy ass-sumptions. Shame.

      grant9 - 2011-07-08 04:07

      @moderfan. Just think : if you became some creatures lunch your family would save a fortune on a funeral and you would have great stories to tell the guys in the life hereafter. You'd be saying, "You got shot in Joburg? Happens all the time. I got chomped by a croc. Massive f.ucker it was".

  • diranp - 2011-02-01 07:55

    I'll stick to Warmbaths if I wanna take a ride on a tube lol

  • ebdg3000 - 2011-02-01 07:57

    Croc was just having a lttle fun ...

  • Kolobes_MAMA - 2011-02-01 08:03


  • Ammie - 2011-02-01 08:08


  • Viv - 2011-02-01 08:13

    Stupid is as stupid does! What a plank to go tubing where crocs are known to be. 10 points for you, dumb$hit!

      Ryanbrew - 2011-02-01 08:51

      I suppose you have never been to the sea, never been boogie boarding, snorkelling or swimming in the sea.... cause Sharks are known to be in the sea... to use your quote above: only "a plank" would go swimming where sharks "are known to be"! I swim in the sea everyday ... never had a problem. Many people paddle, tube and swim on this piece of river (with the crocs) and never had a problem! Unfortunately nature remains nature, and incidents like this can happen. You could go on a hike and get bitten by a puff adder, or worse yet a mamba!! So maybe we shouldnt go hiking either! So that's it - no swimming in rivers or the sea, no hiking and no game reserve visits (cause animals are there too....)

      GT - 2011-02-01 16:29

      Ryanbrew swimming in the sea and swimming in a croc area is a COMPLETELY different situation. As mentioned above, bring your speedo to St Lucia or Mapelane and lets test your theory.

      Mystic Boer - 2011-02-02 09:16

      @GT.... I swim quite regular at Mapelane, lovely beach................but never in a Speedo!

      GT - 2011-02-02 11:24

      @Mystic - and do you paddle around the estuary too?

  • Grazy - 2011-02-01 09:11

    No problemo, that crock now know that people taste like rubber and it farts if you bite it. Will not attack a human again. Sound like fun. Next time go for the lake st St Lucia, there are crocks and sharks. Double the fun.

      agas - 2011-02-01 15:32

      nice one

  • Darwinian - 2011-02-01 09:11

    Darwin Awards 2011 South African Nominees 1 : Playing Knock Knock with Mortar 2 : Playing Electrical Lawn Mover chairs 3 : Asking Crocs for Directions

      Flee - 2011-02-01 10:28

      yup Darwinian... I think the Croc Chop beats Malema choking on foot hands down... But Hey The adrenaline must have been so worth the skid mark....

  • - 2011-02-01 09:13

    Makes me think of how I learnt how to waterski while holidaying at Lake Tanganyika in Zambia! Soon after getting 'the hang of it' we were told that crocs were spotted in the very area where I fell at least a dozen times!! In hindsight ... CRAZY! So not worth the risk....

  • Rob - 2011-02-01 10:31

    AFRICA is not for is safer in the Afrcan wild and oceans than on our roads.....and that is a fact....there are more humans trying to kill you every day , then what there are wild animals....welcome to the jungle :)

  • RNB1 - 2011-02-01 10:51


  • venterh - 2011-02-01 11:41

    what alot of croc!

  • sceptic - 2011-02-01 11:45

    Stupid people deserve to be eaten by crocodiles!! I mean, I think a bush monkey has more common sense!!!

      Bobesi - 2011-02-24 10:28

      could you explain to me what a bush monkey looks like, cause i have never heard of that type before...

  • Cynical_BStd - 2011-02-01 12:03

    Shame poor tube - Will someone also report on the Rats that Chewed through my mother-in law's car ..........

  • polymath86 - 2011-02-01 12:19

    Guy must have crocked in his pants! He wanted adrenaline, he got it!

  • Wena! - 2011-02-01 12:31

    If you know there are crocs and you choose to go there, it is cool. Great for your adrenaline. But then don't complain if the croc has the bad taste to munch you (or your tube).

  • Mike - 2011-02-01 13:19

    How is this newsworthy? I mean honestly. Murders dont get publicised but a freaking tire tube getting bitten does?

  • Outsie - 2011-02-01 14:13

    what a boring story

  • Calvin greenwood - 2011-02-01 14:55

    The truth of the matter is that there are crocs in the water, but people will insist on venturing into areas were the wild animals naturally exist, the only thing left to say is that this guy was lucky, next time it will be the man and not the tube. People must wake up or be prepared to face the consequences of DEATH....

      Calvin greenwood - 2011-02-01 15:51

      doom and gloom...

  • agas - 2011-02-01 15:28

    Lucky dude, this time !

  • Badger - 2011-02-01 15:41

    "CROC HORROR???" The f@#$%^&g creature stole their tube,,,, "Croc Horror" Ha Ha Ha Ha

      Snoopy88 - 2011-02-02 15:05

      Ja I was also disappointed that no one got munched! ;)

  • BeagleFigo - 2011-02-01 16:10

    What a CHOP..!! Crocs and humans are not the best of friends. He is lucky to be alive

  • Croc - 2011-02-01 16:27

    Supercroc warriors, the science fiction graphic novel by Craig Frank Crowley has released a short video.

  • Nice Guy - 2011-02-01 16:27

    Pity we didn't have some crocodile chop suey

  • GhengisKhan - 2011-02-01 17:23

    "He said it was well known that there were crocodiles inhabiting that section of the river" - Definitaly not bravery - These guys must be as thick as mince.....................

  • clkusel - 2011-02-01 18:18

    If there was video of this, would he post it on YouTube?

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-02-02 08:06

    lacoste gone bad

  • Craig - 2011-02-02 09:14

    I didn't know any of the rvers in Southern and central Natal had crocs in them, I grow up in Vryheid and we'd never seen or heard of croc's in any of the rivers. Time notice boards were put up.

      durbsviking - 2011-02-02 09:37

      The Umgeni has crocs in Springfield park 4km from the ocean, big deal for the Dusi organisers. The upper Umgeni has crocs just below the Albert Falls dam wall, have seen one up to 2.5m long while paddling there. They have also been there for 4 - 5 years. Mooi has had crocs for ages. Nobody has ever been attacked. The Umgeni has signs outside Kingfisher canoe club. The same part of the Mooi will host the Schools Canoe Champs this weekend or next which is an indication of how dangerous anyone thinks this is. This whole story blew up because the lightie wanted to see his name in the newspaper. Better this way than a car accident I guess.

      sheffieldhs - 2011-02-02 09:48

      I know that here on the North Coast of KZN all the rivers have crocs in them. Apparently they go higher upstream to breed? Is this correct, anybody know? Also the break out of hundred and something crocs into the Tongaat river from a Croc farm? Not all of them were captured as far as I can recall and they set traps for some big ones in the river mouth? As for me, I am definitely not interested to swim in any rivers in KZN for that matter, because I am on the more causious side... boring. I have no problem with anybody else swimming or enjoying themselves, it is their business!

  • Craig - 2011-02-02 09:32

    I wonder how many of the smart arses making derogatory comments have actually been to the beach and swam in the Cape or Mozambican waters, where there are few if any shark nets, how many of you highly intellegent wankers have travelled to Nelspruit or the Kruger Park without taking malaria prophalactics, more people are killed by sharks than crocs in SA each year, yet I bet most have swam in unprotected areas of the Southern African cost, a million people a year die of malaria in Africa yet thousands go on holiday without checking to see if they need to take any medication, they're not all stupid, they take a chance, most survive unscathed a few don't, when last was there an attack of any kind on the Mooi river?

      durbsviking - 2011-02-02 10:42

      Agree with you Craig. There are calculated risks that one takes every day. If some nanny-state agency had to step in and stop me doing the things that make life worthwhile, like a long swim in the ocean where I know there are sharks but also know that they don't normally hunt humans, a paddle down a river where there might be crocs but they are alergic to fibreglass, or spending 5 days in Balule Camp without malaria medication because I don't like the side effects (I did take a natural remedy, and use a mozzie repellant - I am only 1/2 stupid!!) and daily hikes in the bush of Limpopo province (getting tick-bite fever, but that is another story). Would I "coat myself in chicken blood and throw myself down a croc infested river", probably not, because that would be a poorly judged risk. Anyone who has missed out on a perfect day of tubing in the KZN Midlands, cuppola cold beers on the banks, maybe a line in the water for a fresh Rainbow Trout, does not know what they are missing. It's a shame, they no doubt think we are stupid to "risk our lives" - I am more afraid of dying without ever having really lived.

      GT - 2011-02-02 11:31

      Stupid is as stupid does. Loads of people are munch by crocs in rural areas. Usually the person just vanishes and all that is left is a bicycle or fishing rod. The limpopo, umfolozi, olifants, crocodile, pongola, etc etc etc all are stacked full of the buggers. Remember this one:

      durbsviking - 2011-02-02 12:14

      GT - were are talking about tubing or paddling on Mooi or the Umgeni here. The crocs are not more that 2m long and scarce, so their food source is plentiful with reduced risk that they would take on big prey. The areas you mention are highly populated with big crocs of 3m - 6m, with lots of competition for food. In the same way that I will paddle and swim off Cape Town, but avoid Seal Island - it is all about calculated risk. The Mooi is not a risk, but feel free to avoid it if you like.

  • gaelendeklerk - 2011-02-02 14:29

    If you know there are crocs, but you go there you're stupid. If you actually have to SEE a croc before you decide not to go there, even though you knew there were some ... you're stupid. Imagine one of them had died, there would be a hunt for the croc and the poor thing would have been killed. Responsibility, people. jeezz

  • Madelane - 2011-02-24 07:58

    A DAY OUT SUNNING ON A RIVER BANK TURNS INTO A SAVAGE HUMAN was reported in the local croc times that humans descended on them en masse and they had no choice but to defend themselves......measures are being put into place to control the influx of humans into our living area. Be warned that humans will arrive shortly to murder left right and centre....

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-07-08 10:18

    perhaps body boarding that section of river might be a better idea haha

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