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Crab Fisherman Missing


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Boats are back out on the water today as the search continues for a man feared taken by a crocodile in far north Queensland.

The search for Arthur Booker is now in its third day.

Police, SES crews and officers from the Environmental Protection Agency are searching a two kilometre stretch of the Endeavour River near Cooktown.

Mr Booker was last seen by his wife heading off to check crab pots on the river's bank on Tuesday morning.

Yesterday, one of the 62-year-old's sandals was found 400 metres upstream from where police believe he disappeared.

The other one was found 100 metres downstream on Tuesday.

Mr Booker's four wheel drive and caravan are still at the campsite.

Wife Doris Booker was released from hospital last night and is being comforted by relatives.

The friends Mr Booker have offered their sympathy and support to his family.

Jimboomba Veterans Support centre member Bob George says he met Mr Booker at the centre six years ago and they became good friends.

Mr George says his fellow veterans want to help the family in any way they can.

"We're very interested in trying to help out the family and in particular we don't know how they're going to get the vehicle and caravan back down home," Mr George said.

"We could be sending somebody up to bring that back but we don't know until we speak to the family members."


The family of Arthur Booker has paid tribute to the missing man who is thought to have been the victim of a crocodile attack in far north Queensland.

The 62-year-old from Logan, south of Brisbane has been missing since Tuesday morning when he went to check crab pots in the Endeavour River near Cooktown.

An extensive search of the River where Mr Booker was last seen has only uncovered his watch, two sandals and a snapped crab pot rope.

The search is continuing today.

Mr Booker's son-in-law Darren Goodwin says the family is traumatised.

"We're going through hell," Mr Goodwin said.

Brother-in-law Mike Watson says Mr Booker's wife Doris is in shock.

"Doris is shattered and just doesn't believe it," he said.

Environmental Protection Agency biologist Scott Sullivan is helping with the search and says they are ready to catch crocodiles in the area if asked.

"At the time determined by the police that they think it's appropriate that management actions occur with respect to the crocodiles, that's when we might be positioned to be able to do something," Mr Sullivan said.

"At the moment we've resourced ourselves so that we've got trapping equipment here so that we can potentially trap crocodiles in the area." he said.

Police say they are not able to say for sure whether a crocodile is behind the disappearance.

Crocodile hunter Mick Pitman says the Queensland Government has a backward approach to crocodile management.

He has spent nearly 30 years catching crocodiles and making products from them in the Northern Territory and Cape York.

Mr Pitman says crocodiles should be culled if they are near to where people visit.

"I felt very deeply for the family because it's not a very nice experience. I've been through a case of it myself so you know the thing is I felt that this family really should get some answers and why these animals so big are allowed to live around areas where people frequent," Mr Pitman said.


A North Queensland Senator is calling for crocodiles in the Endeavour River near Cooktown to be removed.

Police are still searching for 62-year-old Arthur John Booker who is believed to have been taken by a crocodile in the river on Tuesday morning.

Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald says the Queensland Government should seriously reconsider its crocodile management plan.

"This tragedy does highlight the very dangerous reptile that crocodiles are," Senator Macdonald said.

"It also highlights that we do need a better conservation plan.

"If human beings are congregating in an area then all crocodiles should be removed."

The Queensland Environment Minister says crocodiles are an important part of the state's eco-system and are not out of control.

Andrew McNamara says the far north is not being over-run by the reptiles and there has only been a small increase in crocodile numbers since 1994.

He says the Government implemented a new crocodile management plan in March this year, which is designed to help protect humans from attacks.

A senior wildlife ranger says culling crocodiles is not a practical safety solution.

Barry Lyon works at the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve on Cape York and says culling crocodiles will not guarantee people's safety.

"Even if we did cull crocodiles, and I'm not suggesting in any way that we should, you can't guarantee that anywhere is crocodile safe because they are so difficult to hunt," Mr Lyon said.

"Crocodiles move in from other areas to take up their place and the other thing is crocodiles are such an important part of the ecosystem."

Edited by Mariner 31
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very sorry for the family

but some one should take a big stick to all the conservation freeks up north

i find it a bit crook that the people saying protect the croks are in fact harvesting meat and leather from there crok farms

if there was a cull the price they get would drop

md started it all but at least he was honest about it


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