Crikey! Grandma tells how she rode over a crocodile

A BUNDABERG grandmother is eating her words after she rode an inflatable tube straight over the top of a crocodile in Bundaberg on Tuesday.

Shelley Chadwick, 52, was being towed on an inflatable tube, with two children Kallan, 11, and Jayden Barritt, 13, just after lunch when they all saw something in the water.

The trio was being pulled along the Burnett River behind a boat being driven by the boys' dad, Shaun Barritt.

It came after the NewsMail revealed two crocodile sightings were reported to the Department of Environment and Science and warning signs were in place.

The group Ms Chadwick was with scoffed at the idea.


Shaun Barritt.
Shaun Barritt. Craig Warhurst

But they were eating their words by the time a shaken Ms Chadwick told the NewsMail what happened and vowed she would never go back into the water.

"We take back everything we said this morning," she said.

"We saw the crocodile and didn't realise Shaun had seen it also ... until we saw his petrified face.

"All our legs went out of the water straight away."

It was about 1pm when the group of about 50 family and friends was enjoying the water.

Mr Barritt said they were coasting along downstream from the Sandy Hook Ski Club when something caught his eye.

"I thought 'that's bit strange' so I got up alongside it and it was the top of a croc jaw," he said.

"It's mouth was open and I saw the pinkness.

Shelley Chadwick with Kallan, 11, and Jayden Barritt, 13.
Shelley Chadwick with Kallan, 11, and Jayden Barritt, 13. Craig Warhurst

"I couldn't change direction and the biscuit (tube) ran right over the top of it.

"It happened in slow motion but also so fast at the same time."

He said he was 100 per cent sure it was a crocodile.

They were between 350 to 400m downstream from Sandy Hook on the southern side of the river.

"I spoke to the media this morning saying there was no way there were crocs," he said.

"But it's scared us and we will definitely not go back in the water.

"It really was incredible and scary at the same time."

Kallan said he couldn't wait to tell his friends at Avoca State School after the holidays.

"Dad turned around and looked at us," he said.

"I saw its snout.

"We hit it dead centre and as we went over it I felt the bumps."

When asked if he was scared at the time, Kallan said he was "not scared, but my brain froze."

Ms Chadwick said her daughter had reported the sighting to the department, which advised it would survey the area again tonight.

Topics:  crocodile editors picks inner tube near miss tubing

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