An Australian helicopter pilot buried his severely injured passenger in sand to save him from hypothermia after a crash.
The helicopter crashed in mud about 100 yards from Australia's northern coast late Sunday after the pilot spotted a crocodile and turned around to have a closer look, the Northern Territory News reported.
The male pilot and his passenger — a man believed to be in his 50s — were flown to to a nearby hospital by a CareFlight crew who rushed to the scene in their helicopter from Darwin.
CareFlight director Ian Badham said the pilot — who was still in "severe shock" — had given his rescuers some detail as to what caused the crash.
"He spotted a croc and turned to have a look at it — and the next thing they knew, they were upside down in the mud," Badham said. "Despite his shock, the pilot has dragged his injured colleague up to the main part of the beach, away from the danger of the crocs, and then has raised the alarm."
Badham said when the CareFlight crew touched down about 10 miles from Dundee Beach, they thought the passenger was dead.
"Because he was concerned about hypothermia and shock, the pilot actually buried his passenger in a hole up to his neck to save him from further exposure," Badham said. "When our guys first arrived, they thought he had buried a dead man."