Tossed by wild currents and facing sharks, crocodiles and killer jellyfish, a family of former Vietnamese refugees catch crabs in the Top End.

Story By David Hancock

During the dry, Vu Van Nguyen and his two brothers Tam and Dung brave the murky, coastal waters of the Top End catching mud crabs, their six-metre dinghies tossed like corks in the cross currents of the mighty Roper River and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
“We work every day for eight months, except when the weather is too rough or we are sick,” Vu says. “If we feel it is not safe out past the mouth [of the river] we come back. If the wind is over 25 knots we generally don’t go out because the boat can tip over and if a shark or crocodile doesn’t get you it will be the jellyfish – if you get stung you cannot swim. We just make sure we are not in the water.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #91

Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2013