Outdoors

Northwest kayakers with guide killed by crocodile

In this March 4, 2009 photo provided by Chris Korbulic, from left, Chris Korbulic, Pedro Oliva, and Ben Stookesberry gather for a photo in front of Salto Belo falls on Rio Sacre, in Campos Novos, in central Brazil. Rescuers say that a South African man leading Americans, Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic, on a whitewater expedition in Central Africa was attacked by a crocodile and pulled from his kayak. The body of Hendri Coetzee has not been recovered following the Tuesday morning, Dec. 7, 2010 attack on the Lukuga River. Ciaran Donnelly, International Rescue Committee's regional director in Congo, said Thursday, Dec. 9, that his organization had evacuated the two Americans to a nearby town after they paddled to safety. The three men were part of a mission to document unexplored whitewater in the region. (AP Photo/Courtesy Chris Korbulic, File) (Chris Korbulic)
In this March 4, 2009 photo provided by Chris Korbulic, from left, Chris Korbulic, Pedro Oliva, and Ben Stookesberry gather for a photo in front of Salto Belo falls on Rio Sacre, in Campos Novos, in central Brazil. Rescuers say that a South African man leading Americans, Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic, on a whitewater expedition in Central Africa was attacked by a crocodile and pulled from his kayak. The body of Hendri Coetzee has not been recovered following the Tuesday morning, Dec. 7, 2010 attack on the Lukuga River. Ciaran Donnelly, International Rescue Committee's regional director in Congo, said Thursday, Dec. 9, that his organization had evacuated the two Americans to a nearby town after they paddled to safety. The three men were part of a mission to document unexplored whitewater in the region. (AP Photo/Courtesy Chris Korbulic, File) (Chris Korbulic)

KAYAKING — Associated Press in JOHANNESBURG reports a pair of Northwest kayakers watched in horror as a crocodile snatched their guide from his kayak while he led an expedition from the source of the White Nile into the heart of Congo.

South African Hendrik Coetzee, 35, an acclaimed outdoorsman who wrote movingly about testing himself against nature, is presumed dead after the attack. His body has not been recovered.

The two Americans — Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic — paddled unharmed to safety after the Tuesday morning attack on the Lukuga River in Congo. They expect to return home to the U.S. shortly.

Korbulic is from Rogue River, Ore., and Stookesberry is from Mount Shasta, Calif.

The stretch of river where the trio was traveling is notoriously dangerous because of its whitewater, and the high density of crocodiles and hippos.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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