Son's croc ordeal stuns mum

PAUL EASTON AND FAIRFAX
Last updated 05:00 04/09/2013

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The mother of a New Zealander who was locked in a two-week standoff with a giant crocodile has spoken of her relief that he survived the ordeal.

Margaret Blair had heard about the remarkable survival story, but did not realise her son was involved until she saw his photograph online yesterday.

"We were blown away. It sounds like a horrible experience," she said. "We're just relieved he's OK."

Ryan Blair, formerly of Wellington, hit the headlines after he was trapped on remote Governor Island by a six-metre saltwater crocodile.

On a mission to explore the northern tip of Western Australia, Mr Blair ran low on supplies, and decided to paddle four kilometres to the mainland in his kayak. But as soon as he set off, he was stalked by the huge crocodile.

"He was about four metres away from me and I thought: ‘this is it'," Mr Blair said yesterday. "It was close enough that he could have taken a bite out of me if he'd wanted to. There was a bit of panic and a bit of fear.

"I was hard-core praying for God to save me. I'm not a religious person but I was putting it out there because I was so damn scared."

His bizarre ordeal ended when Don MacLeod of Kalumburu, on the mainland, saw something shimmering on the island and decided to investigate.

"Ryan came out of the scrub and told me that he was on his last legs basically, he was out of water and he wasn't game to try to get across to the mainland, having been turned back by this crocodile that lives there," he said.

"I've seen him plenty of times. A very large crocodile."

Mrs Blair had not yet managed to speak to her son, who was a fan of the outdoors. "He doesn't like to be enclosed, he likes to be outside."

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- The Dominion Post

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