Two terrified men stranded for five days in crocodile-infested waters in Western Australia with dwindling water supplies were forced to sleep on the roof of their ute after a crocodile appeared.
It is the fourth time this month motorists have hit trouble in the isolated Kimberley region in Western Australia and needed to be rescued.
The men, along with their dog, were on a weekend fishing trip north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula when their four-wheel-drive became bogged last Friday.
Police were alerted after they failed to return on Monday, sparking an extensive land and aerial search.
The men were safely located on Tuesday afternoon.
Broome Police Sergeant Mark Balfour said a close encounter with a crocodile kept the distressed men on the roof of the car for four nights.
"Obviously in the Kimberley here you've got to watch the crocs and snakes, and I believe one of the gentlemen said a croc did come close to their vehicle while they were out there, so obviously they were a bit panicky about that," he said.
Sergeant Balfour said the men were traumatised and running out of water when rescuers found them.
"Being out there for five days in this kind of country and with the weather being quite hot, I don't know what would have been going through their heads.
"They were quite fatigued, dehydrated and heat-struck."
Tourists and locals are often caught out by the region's tides, which are among the biggest in the world, regularly reaching around nine metres.
Trapped in the tidal zone, the men had to perch atop their vehicle as it was repeatedly inundated with sea water.
They were constantly on the look out for crocodiles, which are known to be at their most active during this time of year.
"They stayed on top of the vehicle and went through about six tides which covered the vehicle on a number of occasions," Sgt Balfour said.