Giant crocodiles, armed bandits and unexpected 250-foot (76 metre) waterfalls are amongst the many hazards facing a five-man British canoe team attempting for the first time to descend the Blue Nile River form its source to the Sudanese border.
LV ZOOM INTO GV Landscape near Blue Nile
MV PAN Onlookers PAN TO GV Members of expedition plot route while sitting on Landrover (2 shots)
TV & MV Canoeists prepare for trip on life-jackets and helmets (2 shots)
SV Canoe into river and man climbs in
MV & SCUs Member checks revolver & dagger stropped to leg (3 shots)
STV Canoeist pushes out from bank and paddles away
GV Two more canoeists set out
MV Canoeist practises underwater roll
TV Members paddle down river (2 shots)
GV, SVs & TVs - Canoeists down river, under bridge (6 shots) (SOUND)
JONES: "And one of the expedition members. Dave Birkenshaw, was attacked by a 20-foot crocodile...repeat 20 foot. And narrowly escaped being eaten ??? it. We also encountered hippopotamus and various other forms of wild life. The expedition was carrying all their food with them. This was carried in boats--it was all lightweight, specially concentrated food. It took three days from Moto bridge, and on the first day we were attacked...attacked by bandits from up on a cliff top who shot down on us while we were sitting in our canoes in the water. Shots were ricocheting around the canyon walls, plummeting into the water. Rocks were tumbling down...and we paddled out of this...."
Initials BB/2315 CG/DW/BB/0144
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Giant crocodiles, armed bandits and unexpected 250-foot (76 metre) waterfalls are amongst the many hazards facing a five-man British canoe team attempting for the first time to descend the Blue Nile River form its source to the Sudanese border.
Their 450-mile (675 km) Journey is taking them through what is considered some of the world's most treacherous rapids. Four are travelling in 14-foot (4 metre) one-man fibreglass salem canoes while the fifth follows along the shores in a landrover.
Because of the threat of crocodiles and bandits--who killed a two-man canoe expedition on the Blue Nile in 1962--the British team is armed with revolvers. Expedition leader Mike Jones, who assisted Visnews cameraman Tafesse Jarra with the filming of this story, describes the hazards of crocodiles and a bandit attack they have already experienced:-
SYNOPSIS: Five young British canoeists are attempting the first-ever full descent of the Blue Nile River, one of the most dangerous and fast-moving rapids in the world. Four are making the river journey in their specially reinforced craft, while the fifth keeps a track of their progress form the shore in a Landrover.
The four-hundred-and-fifty-mile journey form the Blue Nile's source to the Sudanese border of Ethiopia is expected to take the men four weeks in their fibreglass salem canoes. A constant danger is the sudden and unexpected waterfall, where the canoeists might face a serious threat of drowning.
The expedition is armed, with very good reason...mainly giant crocodiles and bandits, who in nineteen-sixty-two killed a two-man canoe-party on a stretch of the Blue Nile.
Expedition leader Mike Jones, who helped Visnews cameraman Tafesse Jarra shoot this film, talks about those giant crocs...and a bandit raid which would have cost the young adventurers their livers.