News

Couple Rescued from Crocodile-Infested Swamp After Writing 'Help' in Mud

What was meant to be a casual day spent fishing turned into a nightmarish saga one couple won't soon forget after they got stuck in a crocodile-infested swamp and were forced to light fires and write "HELP"...

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A casual day spent fishing turned into a nightmarish saga for one couple in Australia this past weekend, when they found themselves trapped in a crocodile-infested swamp and were forced to etch “HELP” in the mud to grab rescuers’ attention. 

During a fishing trip to the Keep River National Park in Australia's Northern Territory over the weekend, a young couple found themselves trapped in a particularly remote area known as Barra Hole, when their pickup truck became bogged down in a swampy marsh and wouldn't budge, according to an ABC News report. They grew concerned after seeing a bunch of crocodile tracks in the area and figured the rising tide may attract more ravenous reptiles. 

“We were stuck on the marshland and we were right next to saltwater,” said Colin Nulgit, one half of the couple, in an interview with ABC News. “Earlier that day we saw two, three croc tracks -- they were about five, six meters long."

Since they evidently didn't have any cell service, they decided to sleep in their car that night in hopes that someone would eventually spot them. However, they didn't get much sleep on account of the fact that it's tough to catch much shuteye when a bunch of strong-jawed killing machines could be lurking just steps away.

After going unnoticed through the following day, they stepped up their efforts and built a series of small fires and wrote "HELP" in huge letters in the mud, hoping someone might see the smoke or the message from overhead. The only sustenance they had was a pack of water bottles.

Fortunately, the couple told family where they were going and when they'd be back, so when they didn't return, they were reported missing and search crews were deployed. Not long after that, the couple spotted crews from the Western Australia Police Force flying overhead and scrambled to catch their attention.

“When [the rescuers] came a bit lower to the ground, we jumped out of the car and started to wave them down," Nulgit said. "It was overwhelming, emotional yeah... we were pretty happy that we’d made it."

Authorities credit the successful rescue to the couple's smart decision to tell others where they were going and when they'd be back. Nulgit said he'll also be buying some equipment that can help boost trucks when they're stuck for the next time he goes on a fishing excursion. Though it probably wouldn't hurt if he binged some Bear Grylls episodes before then, too. 

h/tABC News


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.