Tourist Stranded On Australian Island For Weeks By Giant Crocodile

crocodile costa rica
Flickr/Magnus Brath

We’ve all faced travel delays before, and things like strikes, bad weather and road closures can wreak havoc on the best-laid plans. But spare a thought for the tourist who found himself stranded on a remote Australian island for two weeks –- not because his flight was cancelled, but because a giant crocodile was eyeing him down.

New Zealander Ryan Blair had been visiting Governor Island in Western Australia on a kayaking trip when he became trapped by the large reptile. A boat had taken him to the isolated island and dropped him off so he could explore, but the kayaker soon realized he didn’t have enough food to last his visit. He tried swimming back to the mainland but was quickly stopped in his tracks by a 20-foot long crocodile.Although the mainland was only three miles away from the island, Blair couldn’t make the journey back without attracting the attention of the presumably hungry croc. After two weeks of repeatedly attempting the swim — as well as setting fires to attract the attention of passing boats — Blair was getting desperate.

“He was about four meters away from me, and I thought, ‘This is it,'” the kayaker told an Australian television station. “It was so close, and if this croc wanted to take me it would not have been an issue. I was scared for my life. I was hard-core praying for God to save me.”

It seems those prayers were heard because a boatman eventually spotted the 37-year-old and brought him to safety.

Trapped baggage handler yells and screams for attention

trapped baggage handlerPassengers on a US Airways flight at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. got a bit of a fright when they heard yelling and screaming coming from under their seats.

They alerted a flight attendant, who mentioned the odd noises to the pilot. As it turns out, one of the baggage handlers had been left behind in the locked hold, and was trying to get some attention before the plane departed.

Thankfully for the trapped ramp worker, the plane would not have taken off with him locked away, as he was also responsible for driving the tug required for pushing back from the gate.

Once he was freed from the hold, he got into the tug and continued his day. Still, if you thought your airplane seat was a tight and uncomfortable, I’m sure a cold ride in the cramped lugagge hold of an Embraer E-170 regional jet isn’t much better.

[Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

Brit tourist locked in French town hall overnight

Why name a building “hôtel” if it’s not really a hotel?

That’s what a British tourist ended up thinking after she popped into the hôtel de ville in Dannemarie, France on Friday night.

Unfortunately, she hadn’t realized that “hôtel de ville” translates to “town hall.”

Just when she might think it’s her lucky day to find a bathroom before checking in, the day proved her wrong. At that same moment, officials in the building wrapped up a meeting and exited, locking the doors shut.

She called for help. She flicked the lights on and off. But she couldn’t get the attention of anybody on the outside–until Saturday morning.

She did it by posting a note on the inside of a window, which caught the eye of someone on the outside. The British woman couldn’t speak fluent French, but she got her message across. Her note said: “Je suis fermer ici. Est ce possible moi la porte ouvrir?” (I am to close here. Is it possible me the door to open?)

Even when she was a free woman on Saturday, she wasn’t entirely lucky. As a town of only 2,500 people, Dannemarie’s hotels were booked and the only rooms available on Saturday night were in neighboring towns.
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Few solutions offered for passengers trapped on plane overnight

Even Gilligan used his creative wits better in crisis.

The 47 people on-board a Continental flight last Friday night found themselves on their own “three-hour tour,” a la Gilligan’s Island. Rather than taking three hours to fly from Houston to the Twin Cities, they were stuck on the tarmac in Rochester, Minnesota for nine hours overnight, not even leaving the aircraft. The flight, operated by ExpressJet, had been diverted to Rochester because of thunderstorms in the Twin Cities.

Nine hours is a really long time, don’t you think?

One passenger told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “This was a sardine can, with a single row of seats on one side of the plane and two rows of seats on the other. And they’ve got about 50 people inside, including babies, for the whole night. It was a nightmare.”

The airline seems to have plenty of excuses, but few answers. Just a few: They couldn’t wait for the storm to pass because the crew had already reached their maximum work hours, and another crew had to be flown in. The passengers couldn’t just go into the airport, because they would have to undergo security screening, but the screeners had already gone home for the night. And the idea of at least letting passengers sleep on chairs in a certain area of the airport “wasn’t provided as an option.”

I’d be curious to know whether the passengers were throwing around the term “anarchy” after a few hours, or whether the original crew deplaned because they were at the end of their shift.

Poor, poor passengers. Rather than arriving in Minneapolis around midnight on Friday night, they eventually landed around 11 a.m. on Saturday morning.