Fishermen rescue naked fugitive from Australian tree

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Two fishermen have rescued a naked fugitive who they found sitting on a tree branch in Australian crocodile habitat.

Cam Faust said Wednesday he and fellow recreational fisher Kev Joiner heard Luke Voskresensky, 40, yell for help on Sunday as they set crab traps from their dinghy in mangroves on the outskirts of the northern city of Darwin.

Faust said Voskresensky — who was covered in mud, cuts and insect bites — had explained that he had been lost for four days, survived by eating snails and had used his clothes “for bits and pieces over the way.”

“It didn’t make sense to us,” Faust said, referring to the explanation for his nudity. “He had a nest made up in the tree, and he was only laying a meter (39 inches) above the water and there were crocs in the water so he has done well to survive.”

Joiner said the friends hesitated before bringing Voskresensky on board.

“Once we’d seen how bad he was and how many cuts he had all over him and he was dehydrated and pretty weak … we thought we’d better get him in the boat,” Joiner said.

“We thought he just must have had a big night after New Year’s and got lost and done himself a mischief in the bush,” he added.

Faust said he stripped to his underwear and handed Voskresensky his shorts and a beer as the trio made their way back to Darwin.

“He looked like he needed a beer, although he was in a bad way,” Faust said.

An ambulance was waiting at a Darwin boat ramp when they arrived. Voskresensky was taken to a Darwin hospital, where he was placed under police guard as he was treated for exposure.

Police said Voskresensky had been free on bail after being charged with armed robbery. But he had cut off his electronic monitoring device last week and attempted to evade police.

Because he was hospitalised, Voskresensky was excused from attending court on Tuesday to face new charges of breaching bail and aggravated assault, NT News newspaper reported. A court official confirmed to The Associated Press that Voskresensky had been listed on Tuesday, but declined to provide any other details.

Voskresensky will next appear in court in February, the newspaper reported.

Faust said he decided against visiting Voskresensky in the hospital after discovering he had been wanted by police.

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