A naked alleged fugitive found by two fishermen sitting on a tree branch in Australian crocodile-infested waters has been slapped with additional charges of breaching bail and aggravated assault.
Cam Faust said on Wednesday that he and fellow recreational fisher Kev Joiner heard Luke Voskresensky, 40, yell for help 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 – explained on Sunday 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 metre 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 their small aluminium boat.
“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.”
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.
Northern Territory police said Voskresensky had been free on bail after being charged with armed robbery. But they allege he had cut off his electronic monitoring device last week and attempted to evade authorities.
A police spokeswoman told Guardian Australia after Voskresensky was re-arrested he was charged with aggravated assault and breach of bail. He was remanded and is scheduled to appear before court on 9 February.
Faust said he decided against visiting Voskresensky in hospital after discovering he had been wanted by police.
– additional reporting Guardian staff