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Sunday 23rd March 2008

A Crocodile visits Trinity Beach!!


The front page of The Cairns Post on Monday 24th March 2008

Alarm Bells - Swimmers rushed for safety when this large saltie, seen here circling in the netted swimming enclosure at Trinity Beach,
came face-to-face with Connie Verheyen (inset) as she took in an Easter Sunday dip


Close Call - Swimmer Connie Verheyen bumped into a 3m croc at
Trinity beach yesterday but was all smiles from the safety of the beach

Photo of 3m croc at Trinity Beach stinger enclosure,
taken by swimmer Connie Verheyen who came
face to face with the beast while in the surf

A 3m-plus croc swims in the stinger enclosure at
Trinity Beach after bumping into a female swimmer

Swimmer confronts Three Metre Cocodile

A woman has told how she swam into a monster crocodile and stared in its eyes during an Easter Sunday dip at Trinity Beach

Connie Verheyen, 55, thought she had stumbled across a log covered in barnacles as she did laps inside stinger nets about 8.00am
She soon realised she was face-to-face with the 3m-plus croc

"It was scabby and I saw eyes and it started spouting water at me" she told The Cairns Post
"I thought uh-oh, a log is not supposed to be like that, I have to get out of here
To come eye-to-eye, be so close, it was really frightening"

Ms Verheyen and her partner Gary Plant, who also had been swimming inside the nets, were relieved after her brush with such a dangerous animal
"It's not every day you get to smile at a crocodile and survive" Mr Plant said

Fearing the croc would attack her, Ms Verheyen said she turned and fled so fast she could have "made the Olympic team"
"I thought he was going to take a deep breath and dive under and get me" she said

Mr Plant said the croc was at least 3m long and its head was about 40cm wide
"Connie`s very slight," he said
"She`s about five-foot-six and 45kg - no match for a 12-foot croc"

Lifeguards and police were alerted and about two-hundred Easter Sunday beach-goers gathered to get a glimpse of the trapped animal

Surf Life Saving Queensland's Ebeny Keating said the croc most likely slipped into the enclosure sometime overnight as it moved between creeks
"It looks like he's tried to swim under the boom but he couldn't get out because of the nets" she said
"He was definitely a big one"

Other people had been swimming in the nets before Ms Verheyen's brush with the croc, she said
"They could've potentially been in the water with him" Ms Keating said

The nets were lowered to free the croc

Ms Verheyen said the croc must have been distressed and exhausted from its ordeal in the swimming nets
"Obviously he wasn't hungry or he would've got me there and then" she said
"He was so close I wouldn't have been able to escape"

Ms Verheyen had not even seen a croc at the beach where she had regularly swum for the past twenty-five years
She said she would most likely return to her morning swim, despite the ordeal


Click on the logo below to watch a video of the croc in the net

Amateur video - 1 minute 30 seconds

(this link was active as at Monday 24th March 2008)