Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Croc victim was fun and free spirited, say her parents

The grieving father of Daintree croc attack victim Cindy Waldron says she was a fun person whose impulsive nature cost her life.

Ms Waldron's father and sister arrived in Cairns from New Zealand and have travelled north to observe the grim search for her remains.

Ms Waldron was dragged underwater at Thornton Beach in the Daintree National Park after she and her friend Leeann Mitchell decided to risk a dip in the ocean about 10pm on Sunday.

Pat Waldron said his 46-year-old daughter would have understood the risks of a late-night swim in Queensland's crocodile country.

"She'd do crazy things. And what she did there is a crazy thing, absolutely," Mr Waldron said. "But that was her. She sent a message on Facebook two hours before that happened to say 'I'm on the beach, it's a lovely place, I'm having a ball'."

Ms Mitchell has been deeply traumatised by the loss of her friend. She said she tried to pull her from the crocodile's jaws but was not strong enough, so had to run to a nearby business to get help.

The attack took place in an area well known for its crocodiles and has reignited debate about how best to manage public safety.

A search of the beach and nearby waterways failed to find any trace of Ms Waldron.

Speaking from her Tauranga home yesterday, Ms Waldron's mother Heather Waldron said she and her family were still trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

"It's difficult to put into words" how they we're all feeling, she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

Ms Waldron, who lived in Australia for 26 years, was a professional photographer and a hard worker, her mother said.

"She was a free-spirited person and wonderful daughter who was loved by everyone."


Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 25 Oct 2016 02:52:43 Processing Time: 533ms