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Kayakers caught moment their friend was ambushed and killed by 'man eater' crocodile on camera

Kayakers caught moment their friend was ambushed and killed by 'man eater' crocodile on camera

The pair were left reeling when their friend was eaten by a '15 foot' crocodile in a terrifying attack

Two world-class kayakers captured the moment their friend was dragged beneath the water's surface and eaten by an enormous 15-foot crocodile on camera.

American pair, Chris Korbulic and Ben Stookesberry, were paddling down the Congo’s Lukuga River in 2010 with their South African companion, Hendri Coetzee, when they saw him pulled from his vessel by the man-eating animal.

Watch the footage of the pair reeling from the horrific attack on Coetzee here:

“I glanced over and just in my periphery I saw the crocodile come out of the water, and he got onto Hendri's left side - just the left shoulder with its mouth," a shocked Korbulic explained at the time.

The trio hadn't waded into the croc-infested waters unprepared.

The group were world-renowned kayakers and the surviving American pair had teamed up with their tragic colleague in an attempt to become the first to navigate the treacherous whitewaters of the Lukuga River.

Travelling down river in a close formation to avoid dangerous animals, including hippos and, of course, crocodiles, the trio were a mere ''four or five’ feet away from each other when the semiaquatic reptile made its fatal move.

Korbulic told the Associated Press back in 2010: “The crocodile just pulled him right underwater. I think we both were just in complete shock and disbelief, and absolutely horrified at what had just happened."

Coetzee was snatched from his kayak on 7 December, and the only crocs they’d seen prior to the incident that day had been three small reptiles, averaging about three feet in length.

The three men were cruising down a stretch of water approximately 100 feet wide, with Coetzee in the centre, Stookesberry up front on the left and Korbulic only slightly behind him.

When Coetzee’s boat was capsized, Stookesberry and Korbulic watched it shake for 20 seconds as the crocodile wrenched Coetzee from the cockpit.

Two kayakers caught the horrific moment their friend was eaten by an enormous crocodile on camera.
National Geographic

Recognising that they were unable to help, the two Americans quickly paddled downstream to a village where residents told them the croc was likely ‘15 feet long and two tonnes in weight’.

Soon after the attack, Coetzee's boat floated by and was hauled onto shore by villagers. There wasn’t so much as a scratch on the kayak.

Coetzee's body has never been found.

In 2013, the story of Coetzee's death was told in the National Geographic documentary, Man-Eater of The Congo.

Footage of the moment Coetzee was attacked was also included, however, the exact moment the crocodile attacked is not shown.

After arriving at a nearby village shortly after the attack, Korbulic and Stookesberry - who are visibly shaken - can be seen radioing for help, with the latter saying: “This is Ben, can you hear me? We’ve had a terrible accident here. Hendri just got taken by a crocodile.”

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: National Geographic

Topics: News, World News, Animals, Travel