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Teen Killed by Crocodile After Boat Failure

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A teenage boy, aged 16, Edward Baidham Morrison Warusam, tragically died following a suspected crocodile attack near Saibai Island, Torres Strait, Australia. 

On Thursday afternoon, April 18, the boy’s body was discovered with severe injuries, after a desperate search and rescue operation that started early in the morning, according to police.

The incident took place when the boat the teenager and his 13-year-old cousin were traveling in experienced engine trouble and started taking on water. Left stranded around a third of a mile from the shore in the water, they tried to swim back when the fatal incident occurred. While the younger boy safely made it to shore and alerted authorities, his older cousin vanished in the waist-deep water.

Responding to the emergency, local police and the Queensland Department of Environment, Science, and Innovation launched aerial and water patrols in a bid to locate the predator, which was described as a saltwater crocodile measuring roughly 11.5 feet long. The intensive search ended with the grim finding of the teenager’s body in the mangroves later that day.

“This has been a deeply distressing incident,” stated Senior Sergeant Greg Giles. He confirmed that the teenager’s injuries were consistent with those expected from a significant crocodile attack. Giles highlighted the threats that large crocodiles present to communities living in such close proximity to their natural habitats.

The local community, taken aback by the incident, demanded the removal of the crocodile involved in the fatal attack. Wildlife officers carried out extensive surveys of the local waters to ensure community safety and address the concerns of the local residents.

A representative of the local government stated that they were taking immediate steps to locate and possibly capture the crocodile involved. “Ensuring the safety of our community members is our highest priority, especially following such a significant and sorrowful event,” they expressed.

On April 20 the crocodile was found and humanely euthanized.

The official identification process for the deceased has started, with additional tests in progress to definitively establish the cause of death. A GoFundMe account was set up by Kemana Kusu, Baidham’s mother, a single mother of nine. Over $20,000 has been raised as of May 1.

This event has increased awareness of the risks associated with the region’s wildlife, sparking discussions about improved safety measures for those residing in and visiting the Torres Strait Islands.

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