Kevin Darmody, a fisherman from Laura, was reported missing on Saturday afternoon from the banks of Kennedy River in Far North Queensland. Queensland Police and Department of Environment and Science (DES) officers launched a search and rescue operation to locate him.
Kevin Darmody Cause Of Death
DES officers located two crocodiles upstream from where Darmody was last seen. Both were shot on Monday night, about 1.5km from the location of disappearance. Later on Tuesday, they were necropsied, and remains were found in only one of the reptiles. Officers confirmed that both crocodiles were involved in the attack. One of the crocs measured 2.8 metres, while the other was a colossal 4.1 metres in length.
Darmody had been fishing on the northern end of the river in Lakefield National Park when he suddenly disappeared in the murky waters. His friend heard “splashing noises” before he noticed Darmody missing. The Kennedy Bend Campsite where he was fishing is prone to attacks, with fishers regularly snatched away into the water. Waterways in the Far North are overly plagued with saltwater crocodiles that pose an extreme danger to human life.
DES Manager of Wildlife Operations, Mike Joyce, emphasized that caution around such areas should be taken at all times. He reminded people that being “croc wise” is essential, and risks should not be taken. People should keep back from the bank while fishing, as a lure is not worth risking their lives. Police Inspector Mark Henderson also reminded locals to not get complacent and “heed the signs that are put there for a reason”.
Darmody was a long-time owner of the Peninsula Hotel in Laura and a much-loved, respected member of the southern Cape York community. He was also an experienced fisherman who had been casting nets in local waters for many years and described as “an extremely croc-aware person”.
Search and rescue operations in Lakefield have been discontinued for now. Police will prepare a report for the coroner and complete the formal identification process.