‘You can’t put a price on it’: Community revelling in Brian’s good news story


Mark Murray


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SURVIVOR: Cairns man Brian Duncan, 61, was found alive after spending a night in crocodile country. IMAGE: Credit - Twitter @IzaStaskowski

Missing Cairns man found alive
Search resumes at crocodile inhabited Chinaman Creek

In a time where good news stories are few and far between, the survival of Cairns man Brian Duncan overnight is worth celebrating.

Police are revelling in the find after locating the knockabout 61-year-old safe and well in crocodile country this afternoon.

He was feared dead after failing to return home from work at CBS Steel Fabricators in Portsmith yesterday, putting his family through a hellish ordeal.

Brian had been setting crab pots in the croc inhabited waters of Chinaman Creek, near his workplace, before being caught off-guard by rising tides.

Disoriented and lost, he survived by spending a night up a tree in dense mangroves.

Acting Senior Sergeant Gil Dyett said the satisfaction in telling his family ‘he’s alive’ was uniquely special.

“You can’t put a price on it,” he told media today after the search.

“They (family) were just elated. It’s such a good opportunity for a positive story to go and tell a next of kin hey, we found him, we’ve got him, and he’s alive.

“You don’t get many better jobs in policing than having the opportunity and the ability to do that.”

Act Snr Sgt Dyett smiled while reliving the moment he told the man’s son the good news.

“It was quite funny, I said to the son ‘where’s your mother?’ Quick, go and tell her.”

Brian sustained only insect bites throughout the ordeal. He was taken to Cairns hospital for observation but appeared in good spirits.

“He’s got a few midge bites, other than that he’s fine,” Snr Sgt Dyett said.

“Once the adrenalin settles he’ll realise how lucky he is. I think he’ll probably be more distressed about the concern that he’s put his family through.”

He’ll also have a good story to tell.

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