Beware the crocodiles bite
Earlier this year, MAF Timor-Leste Pilot Jason Job flew a (medical emergency evacuation) flight for a young man who’d been bitten by a crocodile and needed to reach hospital urgently to save his badly damaged leg.
Nineteen-year-old Lino was working on his boat on a rainy day in January. Because the sea was dirty from the heavy rains, Lino didn’t see the crocodile approaching. Although his leg was badly bitten, Lino managed to escape by moving out of the water onto the sand.
Thankfully, the crocodile didn’t follow him, which most likely saved his life. A friend nearby phoned Lino’s brother and told him what had happened.
Crocodiles are believed to be sacred by the Timorese people. Many of the legends explaining how the island was formed include lafaek – the word for crocodile – because the mountainous ridges are said to resemble a crocodile’s head. In fact, many crocodiles hide in the murky waters of Timor-Leste.
When Pilot Jason Job heard about the accident, he set off from the MAF base in Dili to Baucau, where Lino lived.
About 40 minutes later, Jason reached Baucau, where he helped Lino, Lino’s brother, a nurse and another family member, onto the plane, ready for the flight to the hospital. Because of his leg, Lino needed to lie on a stretcher bed in the aircraft.
Back in Dili, an ambulance was waiting to take the young man to the National Hospital in order to save his leg. MAF Timor-Leste makes roughly 28 medevac flights a month, and each year we airlift one or two victims attacked by crocodiles.
MAF is grateful to been able help Lino in his time of need and we pray that he and other crocodile attack victims will make a complete recovery.