Two fishermen have rescued a naked fugitive who they found sitting on a tree branch in Australian crocodile habitat.
Kev Joiner and Cam Fraust, both recreational fishers, found the 40-year-old in East Point, close to the city of Darwin on Sunday.
The friends said they heard Luke Voskresensky shout out for help as they were setting crab traps from their dinghy in the swamp.
They said Voskresensky – who was covered in mud, cuts and insect bites – begged them for a drink of clean water, and said that he had been living off snails for four days.
Mr Fraust said he had been using his clothes “for bits and pieces over the way”.
“It didn’t make sense to us. He had a nest made up in the tree, and he was only laying a metre above the water and there were crocs in the water so he has done well to survive.”
Mr Joiner said the pair were initially unsure about bringing Voskresensky on board with them.
He said: “Once we’d seen how bad he was and how many cuts he had all over him and he was dehydrated and pretty weak… we thought we’d better get him in the boat.
“We thought he just must have had a big night after new year’s and got lost and done himself a mischief in the bush…”
Mr Faust said he gave Voskresensky his shorts and a beer as the trio went back to Darwin.
He said: “He looked like he needed a beer, although he was in a bad way.”
There was an ambulance crew waiting by a boat ramp upon their arrival.
Voskresensky was taken to a hospital in Darwin, where he was placed under police guard as he was treated.
Police said he had been on bail after being charged with armed robbery, multiple aggravated assaults, deprivation of liberty and stealing.
He had removed his electronic monitoring device last week to evade police.
Voskresensky’s hospital admission meant that he was pardoned from attending court to face new charges of breaching bail and aggravated assault, court official Xavier La Canna said.
His next court date is 9 February.
Mr Faust said he decided against visiting Voskresensky in hospital after finding out he was wanted by police.