A Cape York mine worker owes the use of his legs to his pair of Oliver Footwear AT 55 work boots after a recent crocodile attack while fishing on the banks of a local North Queensland creek.
Todd Bairstow had been fishing alone when a 3.5m crocodile surfaced to the banks of the creek and attacked him from behind. Bairstow spent 15 minutes battling the creature, clinging to mangroves while punching it to discourage it from dragging him under the water.
Bairstow's screams were heard by locals who notified emergency services, who arrived to find the fisherman still locked in the jaws of the crocodile. Bairstow describes his ordeal as a "tug of war" with his only defence against his feet being torn off being his pair of Oliver Footwear AT 55 work boots.
Bairstow still sustained extremely serious injuries, including lower limb lacerations, cuts to his hands, and a broken leg and dislocated joints. He was quickly airlifted to the Cairns Base Hospital by the RFDS and has since undergone an extended hospitilisation period to receive treatment for his wounds and a grueling five day a week schedule of physiotherapy to help him regain full use of his legs.
Two months after the crocodile attack, Bairstow is now able to leave hospital at weekends.
Bairstow believes his Oliver Footwear AT 55 work boots were what saved him from more serious injury.
"I dislodged the croc and his grip at one point and he made a second grab at me, but he contacted with my boots.
"Fortunately the croc was unable to get another grip or penetrate the leather uppers of the Oliver boots and I believe they saved me from even more serious injuries.
"This was an enormous plus for the durability and protection of Oliver AT 55s," says Bairstow.
After hearing about the attack and the injuries suffered, Oliver Footwear sent Queensland sales manager, Adam Workman, to visit Bairstow with a replacement pair of AT 55 work boots.
"We are not recommending that Oliver Footwear safety and industrial footwear should be considered part of a frontline protection pack against a crocodile attack, but it's reassuring to know that when tough conditions and circumstances prevail on or off the worksite that Oliver's AT 55 range of work boots is up to the job," says Workman.
Bairstow received a pair of AT 55-285 zip sided work boots which feature:
- the COMFORT Cushion impact absorption system
- a padded comfort collar
- the TECtuff toe bumper and heel protection
- a water resistant Nubuck leather construction
- a wide profile NATUREform type 1 steel toe cap with comfort liner
- a heavy duty all terrain dual density PU/rubber sole
- an anti static sole
- the NANOlite footbed
- kevlar thread on critical wear seams; and
- a side zip closure for quick donning and exit.