January 15, 2005 in Nation/World

Australian tour guide found ‘grossly negligent’ in croc attack

Associated Press

DARWIN, Australia – A tour guide who invited foreign tourists to swim in crocodile infested waters in northern Australia in 2002 acted in a “grossly negligent” manner that led to the death of a German visitor, a coroner’s report said Tuesday.

Isabel von Jordan, 23, drowned in October 2002 after being mauled by a 15-foot, 1,100-pound crocodile while swimming with other tourists in Kakadu National Park.

Tour guide Glenn Robless, who told the tourists it was safe to swim, pleaded guilty in 2003 to a charge of making a dangerous omission that caused von Jordan’s death. He was given a three-year suspended prison sentence.

Coroner Greg Cavanagh said Robless was responsible for the safety of his visitors, many of whom did not know saltwater crocodiles were common in the park.

“Robless was well aware that large saltwater crocodiles would have inhabited that stretch of water, and that his decision to allow the group to swim in the waterway was inexplicable, indefensible and grossly negligent,” he said.

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