‘Drunk’ Kayaker Arrested After Falling Overboard in Restricted Crocodile-Infested Waters
Approaching the precipice of the Great Barrier Reef, an allegedly drunk kayaker in Cairns, Australia was rescued by authorities after biting off more than he could chew.
Bystanders watched with concern as the unidentified man struggled to paddle a blue-and-white kayak upstream in the Cairns Harbor, a public restricted area notorious for its saltwater crocodiles. After laying down for a rest, the man was seen on camera tumbling into the water below.
A Cairns Port Security boat quickly arrived at the scene and fished the 40-year-old kayaker out of the water. According to reports, the man blew a breathalyzer reading of 0.241 — nearly five times the legal limit.
“He appeared to be going against the wind and tide, but wasn’t having too much success,” said Sgt Andrew Ibell. “He was lucky on this occasion.”
“Had it not been for the intervention of Ports North staff members, it is likely that this event would have resulted in the loss of life.”
The drunken sailor had his boating license suspended and was arrested for driving a vessel while under the influence of alcohol. If the charges stick, he could face a maximum fine of up to $4,000 and a jail term of nine months.
In addition to being a major shipping and tourism hub, the Cairns Port serves as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, often dubbed “the largest living structure on Earth.” The 133,000 square-mile coral system was designated a World Heritage Site in 1981 and remains tightly protected to protect its diverse but endangered ecology.
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