Team effort saves man from crocodile’s jaws

Henry

A man from Middelburg in Mpumalanga was grabbed by a crocodile next to a farm dam and “picked around like a rag doll” in front of his children at the weekend.

Not even a blow to the head with a tree stump could deter the crocodile and only the blast of a firearm could finally make the animal leave.

Anthony Joubert has been admitted to a hospital in Middelburg where he will probably soon have to undergo an operation to repair the damage. He suffered injuries to his right and left leg, stomach and groin.

“We are all still very shocked. It’s a picture I can’t get out of my head,” Bianca van der Cloff, a woman who was on the farm together, told RNews.

Anthony (38), his wife, Annalize, and their three children went to visit the farm with Bianca and her husband, Johan, for the weekend.

Anthony and his son JP (12) stretched their lines along the water on Saturday, where JP caught his first freshwater bass.

Bianca described to RNews how the scene unfolded.

“JP’s line and the hook, with the carp still attached, got caught on the target of a tree branch. Anthony got up to untie the line, when the crocodile jumped out of the water and grabbed him by the stomach and hip and left thigh.”

Johan rushed to his aid and tried to pull Anthony out of the water.

“The crocodile left Anthony for a moment, but immediately attacked him again. Anthony even put his fingers in the animal’s eyes,” says Bianca.

Annelize grabbed a tree stump and hit the animal several times on the head, but her efforts were in vain.

Bianca went to get a pistol. Johan fired a shot to scare off the crocodile. The animal disappeared under the surface of the water seconds later.

Anthony was pulled from the water bleeding. The women rinsed the wounds, disinfected them and bandaged the wounds he had sustained on his stomach, groin and thigh.

“There is no signal on the farm so we could ask for help. We always have a first aid kit on hand. The wound was open to the bone.”

Johan jumped into his van to get Anthony to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.

“The farm is about 15 km from the road. They arrived at the hospital at about 20:00.”

He has since been transferred to the Life Midmed hospital in Middelburg.

Anthony went to theater on Sunday evening so that the nature and severity of his injuries could be determined.

“According to the doctors, the crocodile’s teeth missed his artery by a few millimetres.”

It is not yet clear when he will be released.

“We are still waiting to hear if a skin graft will be necessary.”

Those involved are currently receiving counselling.