A woman has recounted the moment she saw her friend get killed by an enormous saltwater crocodile.
Model Ginger Meadows had been to visit Australia after watching the movie Crocodile Dundee, having gone out on a trip on the Lady G, a luxurious boat, before planning to head on to Papua New Guinea.
The skipper had been sailing the boat with a skeleton crew, which Meadows had joined alongside her friend, chef Jane Burchett.
The Lady G later arrived at Cascade Falls, a beautiful waterfall south of Darwin, on 29 March 1987. The waters in north Australia were known to be infested with crocodiles.
This includes the largest crocodilian – the Saltwater Crocodile. These can grow up to six metres long, and are opportunistic hunters that are known to treat humans as prey.
The skipper on the boat had advised Meadows that she was not to even so much as dip a toe in the water. Crocodiles are ambush predators and often lunge out of the water and drag their prey in.
But despite the danger, Meadows and Burchett had got into the water for a swim.
It was while they were swimming that the skipper noticed a four-metre-long crocodile making a beeline directly for them. He screamed out a warning, but it was too late.
The two women were pinned up against the foot of the waterfall in waist deep water, with the enormous crocodile lurking just a few metres away.
Burchett described what happened next.
She said: “It swum right up to us and had its mouth open.
“Then I took my shoe off and threw it at it and hit it on the top of its head and it closed its mouth.
“Because the crocodile was in front of us maybe she thought she could swim to the shoreline and get away.”
Unfortunately, Meadows was not fast enough to out swim the crocodile.
Burchett said: “She let go of my arm, jumped off the ledge, took two strokes and it grabbed her around the waist and pulled her right under the water.
“Then he pulled her up out of the water right in front of me – I looked her right in the face, she had her arms in the air and she was looking right at me.
“Then it pulled her back under the water.”
Meadows’ body was found the next day on what would have been her 25th birthday.
Her death remains as one of Australia’s most high-profile crocodile attacks.
What you can do
Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.
Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.
This article by Kit Roberts was first published by Unilad on 31 August 2023. Lead Image: Featured Image Credit: Fox/Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images