THREE brave fishos swam almost a kilometre to the shore of a remote Territory island - in croc-infested waters - after a freak swell swamped their 4.5m tinnie.Public servant Aaron Packham, 38, said the sea was calm when he and his wife, Dannielle , and their mate Brett dropped anchor in their well-equipped boat at Bynoe Harbour yesterday.
"It got a bit choppy, so we headed closer to shore - then two or three decent waves jumped in the boat,'' Mr Packham said.
"There was nothing that we could do.
"Another one came over and just drenched the boat, and it went completely down.
"I tied the EPIRB around my neck and started swimming.''
They had travelled about 60km from Crab Claw Island on the second day of a fishing weekend when trouble struck.
The trio used Eskies and a fuel tank as floaties.
Brett was picked up by a crew of fishermen who took him to Crab Claw, southwest of Darwin, to raise the alarm and get more help.
But the boat was too small to take all of them.
Mr Packham set off the emergency beacon when he and his wife climbed ashore on Indian Island at 11am.
The Careflight turbo-prop King Air plane, en route from Darwin to Katherine, was diverted to search the popular fishing harbour.
It showed a Navy helicopter where the couple, who suffered some scratches, were stranded.
A Careflight chopper picked them up and the team later drove them back to Bynoe to pick up their car.
"The boat's upside down somewhere bashing against rocks,'' Mr Packham said.
He said they were all thankful to the emergency crews and the other fishos who helped during the rescue.
"We had all the right gear but that's just the way of nature,'' Mr Packham said.
"We're lucky to be alive.''
The last sentence is certainly a welcome punch line for the story. To that we can only add "Amen." All it took was "two or three decent waves jumped in the boat" and then "another one came over" that did it! A fishing trip ended unfortunately with their boat "upside down somewhere bashing against rocks." Well, whatever happen, happened. Let's just be happy and thank God for the fact that they are alive and well. Deo Gratias!