‘The fear for me was my kids losing a father’: croc victim
LOVE and a determination to see his children grow drove Elston Lami Lami to fight for his life against a vicious crocodile.
On Saturday the 42-year-old was on a hunting and fishing trip with family on Croker Island where he encountered the beast.
Mr Lami Lami was wading knee-deep in a creek when he stood on what he thought was a log.
Seconds later he was flipped onto the bank with an estimated 12ft croc on his heels.
"When he came up, when he flipped me and I looked at his eyes, he had that crocodile tease on him," he said.
"Like 'you're mine, you're my lunch'. I was scared. I was scared to death he was going to kill me."
The croc lunged for Mr Lami Lami multiple times, during which he punched its nose in an attempt to ward it off.
In its third attack, the crocodile bit Mr Lami Lami on the leg and groin.
A cousin and Mr Lami Lami's dogs managed to distract the crocodile long enough for the victim to escape.
"I looked at my leg, I was bleeding and he (cousin) said to me 'run'," he said.
"I got up, I had to run. I turned around and saw the croc coming out of the water. His mouth was open, his jaw was open, ready to attack me.
"I didn't care about the wound on my leg. All I thought about was my life and I ran so fast without hesitating."
Mr Lami Lami was taken to Minjilang Community Health Centre, where he was flown by CareFlight to Royal Darwin Hospital.
All throughout the ordeal, a burning desire to see his children gave him the courage to fight.
"The fear for me was my kids losing a father," he said.
"I want to see them get married and have my grandchildren. I want to see my son grow up to be a man and get married and have kids of his own."
"I looked at him eye-to-eye, so he knew I wasn't scared of him. I showed no fear. I had to show no fear … that's the only way to beat a croc, to show no fear."
Mr Lami Lami escaped without life-threatening injuries. He planned to educate his family and community on water safety.
"Don't cross murky water and be Crocwise because that's the mistake I made and I hope they learn from my mistake," he said.