A man who went missing near a far north Queensland creek inhabited by saltwater crocodiles has been found safe after spending the night up a tree.
Brian Duncan, 60, was last seen on Wednesday afternoon when he went to place crab traps in Chinaman Creek in Cairns.
But he was beaten back to shore by the tide.
"I'm not going to walk through water (knee) deep," he told News Corp.
"Not when it's starting to get dark, so I went up a tree and spent the night."
Mr Duncan's disappearance sparked a land, air and water search.
He ended up walking to mangroves along Chinaman Creek and waved down rescue boats about midday on Thursday.
The first two passed him but he managed to catch the attention of the third.
He wasn't worried about being stuck for another night.
"A boat would see me sooner or later," he said.
Mr Duncan has since been reunited with his family, with his son one of those involved in the search.
He's been taken to Cairns Hospital suffering from dehydration and exposure to the elements.
Post-rescue photos of Brian show him barefooted and wearing his high-visibility work clothes that had become torn and muddy.
Earlier police had feared he had been taken by a crocodile.