Police stopped the race and 700 participants had to wait two hours until they had the all clear.
Syrian Lilian A. (24) went to Korneuburg police on Saturday, saying she had seen “a beast” down by the Danube, and as 'evidence' showed them an image of a crocodile on her mobile phone.
As the traditional dragon boat race was just starting the police and the fire brigade rushed down to the river to look for the reptile, and stopped the race. After two hours of fruitless searching the all clear was given and the race went ahead.
It was only on Saturday evening that Lilian A. confessed that what she had thought was a crocodile was actually a tree trunk in the water, and that she had downloaded the image of the reptile from the internet so that the police would believe her.
She may have to pay a fine of up to €10,000 for wasting police time.