Boy, 16, killed by a crocodile after vanishing when his boat broke down

Monday, April 22, 2024 – A 16-year-old boy who went missing off the coast of Queensland when his boat broke down was reportedly killed by a crocodile.

His body, riddled with bitemarks, was recovered following a frantic search by Australian cops.

The boy, 16, had vanished after his dinghy broke down north of Saibai Island, in Torres Strait waters, early Thursday morning, April 18.

According to police, the boat had taken on the water under harsh weather.

At Saibai Island, a 13-year-old alerted the authorities, saying his crewmate didn't manage to swim to shore.

Cops conducted a frantic search and the body of the teen was found.

Officials described how the body sustained injuries consistent with an attack from a 3.5-metre crocodile.

Wildlife officer Simon Booth, from the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, said: "We have resources on the island and are working with Queensland Police to identify an animal that may have been responsible.

"Certainly the community have indicated they would like the crocodile removed from the wild, and that's consistent with the Queensland government management plan following an attack on a person."

Senior Sergeant Greg Giles added: "A foot search was conducted along the shoreline of Saibai Island where they located the body.

"We weren't sure at that stage if the boy had unfortunately drowned or if he had been taken by a crocodile.

"Police are still investigating to confirm the identity of that body."

More testing is taking place to determine the cause of death.

According to a representative for Queensland's Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, wildlife inspectors will now examine the waters near Saibai Island in an attempt to locate the crocodile involved.

“The local community has requested the animal involved in the incident be removed from the wild,” the department spokesperson said.

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation wildlife officers have been assisting police with the search.

A statement read the department "extended its condolences to the family and friends of a teenager who died in waters off Saibai Island early yesterday morning".

Acting Inspector Anthony Moynihan of Queensland Police Torres Strait believes the youngsters abandoned the 5m fibreglass 'banana boat' about 500m north of the island after the engine failed.

He confirmed that the younger teenager had been evaluated by paramedics and was now safe back home with his family.

"He's in a bit of shock at the moment," he told ABC News.

The pair are believed to be cousins.

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