Buried Alive So He Could Live

Aussie pilot crashed, buried passenger in sand to save him from hypothermia

By Emily Feldman
|  Monday, Jun 22, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM EDT
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Buried Alive So He Could Live

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It all started when an Australian helicopter pilot thought he could get a closer look at crocodile.

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An Australian pilot proved himself both careless and crafty after he crashed his aircraft while admiring wildlife, and then saved his badly injured passenger -- by burying him in sand.

The copter fell into mudflats of northern Australia Sunday after the unnamed pilot tried to get a better look at a crocodile, the BBC reported. He got too close and crashed, leaving him and his sole passenger upside down in the mud.

The nearly unscathed pilot quickly took steps to tend to his passenger, who appeared to be seriously injured.

"The pilot dragged his passenger to the safety of the shore, away from crocodiles," an emergency responder said in a statement.  "Then [he] buried the man in the sand up to his neck in an attempt to prevent his companion from developing hypothermia."

Once he felt his passenger was out of immediate danger, he contacted emergency aid, and Careflight, an air ambulance company, arrived on the scene.

Emergency workers thought the passenger was dead until they saw his head moving in the sand, the BBC reported.

The director of Careflight, Ian Badham, called the case "bizarre."

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