14 August 2023

Defence department sued after soldiers attacked by croc in the Cape

| Matt Nicholls
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The two soldiers were attacked by a croc just off Portland Roads near Lockhart River in 2021.

The two soldiers were attacked by a croc just off Portland Roads near Lockhart River in 2021. Photo: Supplied.

The Department of Defence is under legal scrutiny after two soldiers were hurt as a result of a crocodile attack near Lockhart River two years ago.

Comcare, the national workers’ compensation authority, is suing the Department after receiving a compensation claim.

The men were part of an Army unit that was engaged to transport a vessel from Darwin to Townsville.

They had moored up near Portland Roads on August 6, 2021.

The two men who were subsequently injured by a 2.5-metre crocodile had received permission to go fishing from the vessel master.

They took an inflatable boat and were about 200m from the main vessel when they decided to have a swim, despite not having permission to do so.

One soldier, who was attacked first, suffered shoulder and neck wounds. His colleague injured his hands and arms.

READ ALSO Croc attack response time a concern

In a statement, the Department said: “Defence remains grateful to the Lockhart River community, the Queensland Ambulance Service, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Cairns Hospital for their care and response to the 2021 incident where two Australian Army members were attacked by a crocodile in Far North Queensland.

“The safety of our people is paramount in all activities and critical to our mission of defending Australia and its national interests.”

Defence confirmed that the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions had filed one charge against the Department of Defence in relation to the 2021 incident.

“As the matter is subject to legal proceedings, Defence will not be making any further comment.”

Original Article published by Matt Nicholls on Cape York Weekly.

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