TWO Katherine men are lucky to be alive to tell their tale after they were chased by a 3.5 to 4m saltwater crocodile.
Long-term Katherinite Gary Hickey was paddling with his 3.5m kayak alongside his mate Paul Ghirardello in the King River, 30km west of Katherine, on Sunday last week, when they suddenly spotted a large saltwater crocodile.
“It was maybe 150m away from us and it launched straight towards us,” Mr Hickey, 47, said.
“My mate was trying to get away.
“I have never seen anyone pedal and paddle a Hobie kayak at the same time.
“I guess he was thinking he didn’t have to outrun the croc but me.
“I was laughing at him and then I realised I wasn’t in a very good spot.”
Mr Hickey said the saltwater crocodile approached his kayak “unbelievably fast”.
“I thought ‘Holy s***, all I have here to defend myself is harsh language and a paddle - I’m pushing my luck’.”
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Earlier this year Katherine man Sean Cole was taken by a saltie while swimming in a croc infested river.
In June - for the first time ever - rangers caught a saltwater crocodile in a freshwater mining dam near Pine Creak.
Rangers said they caught a record number of saltwater crocs in Territory waterways last year.