1 Jun 2016

Recovery effort for Kiwi taken by croc

2:41 pm on 1 June 2016

The family of a New Zealander taken by a crocodile say her late night swim was one of the many "crazy" things she has done, as police focus on recovering her remains.

Cindy Waldron

Cindy Waldron Photo: Facebook

Cindy Waldron was taken while wading in water with her friend at Thornton Beach, north of Cairns, late on Sunday night.

The childhood friends were arm in arm, up to their waists in water, when Ms Waldron was grabbed.

Crocodile traps were put out along nearby rivers overnight but there is still no sign of the 46-year-old photographer who was living in New South Wales.

Police, emergency service volunteers and environment rangers are continuing the search and today. Police say it is now a search and recovery operation.

Ms Waldron's family are still trying to piece together details of the attack on the remote beach in Daintree National Park.

Anna-Lee Annett said her sister's death was "her worst nightmare".

"[It's] probably the most heartbreaking, horrendous thing that's ever happened to any of us really, in our family," she said.

"They were just wading and then something like this happens out of the blue. It gives me nightmares to think about it."

Ms Waldron's father Patrick said he was unsure whether his daughter was aware of the risks, but that she did not like to swim in water.

"I can imagine they had had a few drinks running down the beach. They wouldn't swim because she didn't like swimming, didn't like the water," he said.

"At that particular beach there are no signs at all. But anyone that goes anywhere up in Cairns knows that there are crocodiles in the water. There are signs everywhere [saying] don't go swimming with the crocodiles, and she did."

He said his daughter, who would often "do crazy things", had sent a message on social media only two hours prior to the attack.

"What she did there was a crazy thing, absolutely crazy. But that was her," he said.

"She sent a message on Facebook two hours before that happened, to say 'I'm on the beach, it's a lovely place, I'm having a ball'."

Three traps have been set and the Cairns Post newspaper reports that if any large crocodiles are caught they will be given an internal examination to see if it contains human remains before being moved to a crocodile farm.

A five-metre crocodile was reported being seen in the area last month.

Daintree National Park, where Cindy Waldron was taken by a crocodile.

Daintree National Park, where Cindy Waldron was taken by a crocodile. Photo: GOOGLE MAPS

Federal MP Bob Katter yesterday called for a crocodile cull, but State Environment Minister Steven Miles said a cull could inadvertently lead to more attacks.

Ms Annett said her family were unsure of the politics, but added: "One of the first things my mother said was 'it's not the crocodile's fault, that's his environment'."

Ms Mitchell remains in a stable condition in Mossman Hospital, north of Cairns, after suffering from shock and grazes.

Queensland police were also expected to talk to her friend Ms Mitchell.

- ABC / RNZ News