March 9, 2012

Crocodile Victim in Membakut in 1931

17 February 1931, The Straits Time carried a news reported originally by The Sarawak Gazette. In early part of the day, the manager of Membakut Estate, Mr R.K. Hardwick, had gone fish bombing in one of the pools in Membakut River. 

Having blasted one pool and secured what fish were 'put up', his party went on upstream to the next pool. Some Dusuns in the village in which he passed, hearing that 'tembak ikan' was afoot, at once, as in their custom it said, came uninvited to partake in the fish gathering. 

Coming to the pool which had just been blasted, they reconnoitre its depths in the hope of picking up a few 'stragglers'. Among the party of uninvited guests, there was a Dusun youth who jumped first into the pool. The rest was about to join him when they heard him screaming for help. To their horror, they saw the youth in the jaws of a huge crocodile. In desperation, the youth's wife, a handsome looking Dusun woman (curious why the paper had to emphasize on this) jumped into the pool to rescue her beloved husband. Four other Dusun men followed suit. Their scream and shrieks apparently scared the crocodile away and it gave up its meal.

The youth was brought to the river bank, still alive but his chest badly wounded by the crocodile's bite and bleeding profusely. Mr Hardwick by now was alerted by the commotion came to his aid. He brought the youth to the estate hospital but the youth became unconscious and died on the way. 

Source : The Straits Time 17 February 1931 - Crocodile's Victim : Young man dives to Death in Pool
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