Friday, August 29, 2008

Feeling safe

Whilst sharing an island with crocodiles may sound a little dangerous, its not as bad as it all sounds. The last blog highlights that there are a number of crocodiles on the island, and yes crocodiles do have a bad rap. But most crocodiles are small in size and pose no risk. All are very skittish and more scared of us. Crocodiles are only a risk if you put yourself in a risky situation – and that is something we will never do. We have a healthy respect for them. When working at night we have spotlights which allow us to see up to ½ mile away and most crocodiles are predictably in the water before we are within 200m of them. The beach is very wide and typically 100m in most areas and we keep a very wide birth of the waters edge. It is shallow in most areas and you can see a long way during the day. We have protocols in place and it is all about being ‘croc wise’ – we never ever ever put ourselves in a position where we are in danger. It is a big island and we feel safe. Our camp sits at the top of a steep 10m high dune which acts as a natural barrier and we are set back 300m from the water. We bury our food scraps away from camp and clean fish at the other end of the island. We never work alone and we never walk the beach at night. The ATVs provide an extra level of safety and we only travel along the top of the beach far from the water. When working on turtles we work in pairs and only work on turtles in safe positions far from the water. Crocodiles are a part of life on Crab Island, but with common sense they pose little danger and we feel very safe.

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