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George  Sayour

Update on Crocodile Attack on Kayaker

By December 22, 2010

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About a week ago I blogged on a crocodile attack that killed one kayaker and left two others in horror on the Lukuga River in Congo.  As the story of the crocodile attack on these three kayaks has finally made it to primetime news, more details have emerged.

As I previously reported, "The expedition was funded by Eddie Bauer with the mission  being to kayak and document unexplored whitewater in Central Africa while highlighting the need for clean water in the area." 

Ben Stookesberry, 32, of Mount Shasta, CA and Korbulic, 24, of Rogue River, OR teamed up with expert guide and Ugandan outdoorsman  Hendri Coetzee to paddle these waters.   Coetzee was the ideal choice for this expedition as he has extensive experience in these conditions and a heart for the people of the region. 

He meticulously trained the two, also expert kayakers,  on how to safely navigate and kayak these waters full of killer hippos and crocodiles, which included paddling in tight formation, knocking on their kayaks with their paddles at times, and staying out of eddies where hippos are known to relax.

It is therefore ironic at best that it was Hendrik Coetzee who the crocodile would attack and rip out of his kayak while it lie upside on the water.  Stookesberry and Korbulic were left in shock as they looked back at the overturned boat and the commotion going on underneath it. 

They had just finished the last stretch of whitewater of the trip and only had flatwater paddling for the remainder of the expedition.


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