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AUS: HMAS Huon Assists In Crocodile Rescue

The Royal Australian Navy's minehunter HMAS HUON assisted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) yesterday with the rescue of three kayakers from Macarther Island, 70 miles south of Thursday Island.

HUON was transitting the Great Barrier Reef on passage to Darwin when AMSA was alerted to the crocodile attack by the activation of a distress beacon on Macarther Island and despatched a coastwatch aircraft to investigate.

On flying over the island, the aircraft sighted three kayakers and a message written in the sand saying "CROC ATTACK".

A Torres Strait search and rescue helicopter was launched to carry out a medivac of the injured man. It arrived at the island at 4.30pm and airlifted the man to Thursday Island at approximately 7pm last night.

HUON arrived at Macarther Island at 6pm and embarked the two remaining kayakers under cover of an armed boat party with the crocodile still in the area.

The minehunter diverted to Thursday Island to rendezvous at 3.30am this morning with the RAN vessel MALU BAIZAM for transfer of the two men to Thursday Island.

HUON is continuing her passage to Darwin and is due to arrive 27 August 99.

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