An Aussie fishing expert and media personality has been identified as the missing man who vanished in crocodile country in Queensland at the weekend, with police suggesting he may have been taken by one of the large reptiles.
Roman Butchaski, an avid fisherman and 2GB radio host, was travelling to the Oliver River from a remote cattle station in Shelburne — at Cape York in the state's far north — when he disappeared on Sunday. The vehicle Butchaski was driving was later located, but so far no other trace of the Sydney man has been found.
Butchaski an 'avid, experienced fisherman'
It's understood Butchaski, aged in his 70s, was travelling via buggy to reach his destination. He's believed to have been fishing by the riverbanks during his trip, in an area well-known for its crocodiles, and was not in a boat, 7 News reported.
When the radio host failed to return back to the station by sunset, concerned friends and loved ones sounded the alarm. A helicopter was immediately deployed to search the area for Butchaski, to no avail.
The search resumed yesterday, and although his buggy was located, no other trace of Butchaski was found.
Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Duane Amos said a “specific area” of the Olive River was being searched for the “avid fisherman”. “He’d gone to that location fishing. He’d previously gone to that location,” he said.
“The preliminary search last night located the vehicle that the gentleman had gone to the location with. When he failed to return at last light last night, that’s when the initial search has been commenced by family and friends.”
Search returns no trace
Explaining that the region was home to “significantly dense” bushland, which is “difficult” to navigate, Amos said that the prospect Butchaski had been taken by a crocodile was a “reasonable expectation”.
“That’s something that the search and rescue co-ordinators would be taking into consideration,” he said.
“Certainly it’s a risk for any of our searchers and our emergency services.”
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