Former Australian radio host missing in crocodile-infested waters

Emergency services are searching for a former radio presenter who went missing on a solo fishing trip in crocodile-infested waters.

The alarm was raised on Sunday after Roman Butchaski failed to return to his camping ground. Some of his belongings have been found near the remote Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.

An avid fisherman, Butchaski, known to friends as Butch, used to present on Sydney radio station 2GB. Former co-host Gavid Pitchford told 2GB that his friend would regularly visit the spot on the Olive River, about 600km (370 miles) north of Cairns, reports the BBC.

In a statement Pitchford said: “I’m devastated. Butchy walks the banks up there regularly. He’s been fishing there forever.”

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Pitchford also feared Butchaski – who has diabetes – could have suffered a medical episode while fishing. Police on Tuesday said they would be sending more officers to help the search.

Rescue helicopters and crews on the ground have been combing the region since they were alerted on Sunday night. Officers say Butchaski’s car was discovered in the area.

Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Duane Amos told reporters the region is a well-known crocodile habitat, but said Butchaski is familiar with the area. He said: “He was well-prepared for a normal expedition that he has undertaken before.”

Crocodiles are common in Australia’s tropical north, however attacks are relatively uncommon. There have though been several this year.

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