A FISHO diced with the jaws of an opportunistic saltie in a mad dash to get to his tinny at Crab Claw Island.

The daring 20m-30m swim was made on Friday about 4pm, with the man luckily living to tell the tale.

A 4m croc has recently moved into the area, with staff at Crab Claw Island Resort keeping a close eye on the new resident.

While the decision to make the dash out to the boat wasn't too bright, the man was smart enough to swim out using the fastest stroke - freestyle.

The swim took less than a minute, with gobsmacked fishos and holiday-makers watching on in silence.


A fisho made a ‘silly’ swim to his boat at Crab Claw Island. Picture: Gino Luglietti
A fisho made a ‘silly’ swim to his boat at Crab Claw Island. Picture: Gino Luglietti

Darwin resident Gino Luglietti witnessed the swim and said everyone watched in stunned silence as the man swum out to his boat.

He said a round of applause was rattled off once it was clear he had survived the swim.

"The bloke did that at the time there was a 4m saltie that was visiting and had been there for a couple of days," Mr Luglietti said.

"I wouldn't have done it. I would have waited for the tide to go out, I'm not that desperate to go fishing."

Mr Luglietti, who was at Crab Claw Island for a weekend getaway, estimated that the daring swimmer was in his 40s.

He said there were signs up around the resort warning people not to take a dip in the water due to opportunistic crocodiles.


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Crab Claw Island Resort manager John Roodenrys said staff occasionally came across people who put their life at unnecessary risk.

"It would be devastating to us if someone was to be taken by a croc or even bitten, especially through no fault of our own," he said.

"More thought could be taken when making a decision like this and the effect on the greater community, like his family and the people watching on."

NT croc team manager Tom Nichols said the swim was silly and risky.

"It's a bit of a silly thing to do and you're just risking your life, you never know if there's going to be a croc there or not," Mr Nichols said.

"Unfortunately it's not an unusual thing to do."

Mr Nichols said they had been called out in the past to capture problem crocs in the area.

Last year one croc was captured in the Bynoe Harbour area.

"People have got to be croc wise especially during the wet season, they are moving around a lot more," he said.

Originally published as Dying to go fishing: Man cheats death by swimming through croc-inhabited waters to reach boat