Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
May 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 31, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Snorkler Mauled to Death in Raja Ampat by a Dinosaur

from the May, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The waters around the islands of Indonesia's Raja Ampat may seem idyllic, and the archipelago at the western end of West Papua has certainly become a must-go to destination for traveling divers. While the main danger seems to be ripping currents, another danger that might lurk beneath the surface, as Russian diver Sergey Lykhvar discovered too late.

He was attacked by a saltwater crocodile and mauled to death.

His body was eventually found in the water near one of the islands, Minyaifun, four days after he went missing at the end of March, and there was a well-defined bite on his hip and one hand was gone. All the evidence points to a crocodile attack, and rescuers witnessed a large crocodile trailing behind his body when it was first discovered.

The 37-year-old normally snorkeled with his friends and a guide, but he had decided to go alone the morning before he was reported missing. His body was taken to Sorong, about two hours' boat ride away, where it was cremated at the request of his family. Death by crocodile is not uncommon in Indonesia, but tourists are rarely attacked.

Saltwater crocodiles inhabit both fresh and saltwater, often swimming long distances in the ocean. They are opportunistic ambush predators that are powerful enough to take down any animal that enters their territory. They kill their prey by grasping and drowning it. A crocodile can outrun a racehorse over a short distance, leap out of the water up to its hind legs, and has a reaction time much faster than a human's. They are so aggressive that one will fight to the death any other crocodile that enters its territory, even a potential mate.

David Shem-Tov, an Undercurrent subscriber, survived a similar attack by a crocodile while scuba diving in Raja Ampat in July 2009, and his full story is recounted in the book Amazing Diving Stories. It was also reported in Undercurrent at the time.

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2022 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.