19 Mar 2017

Crocodile attacks teen after river jump

4:38 pm on 19 March 2017

Paramedics say a teenager attacked by a crocodile after jumping into a north Queensland river on a dare from friends is lucky to still have his arm.

A saltwater crocodile (Crocodilus porosus), in Hartleys Creek, Queensland, Australia.

File photo: The 18-year-old punched the crocodile with his right arm and escaped. Photo: AFP

The crocodile grabbed Lee de Paauw's left arm as he climbed out of the Johnston river, near the town of Innisfail, in the early hours.

The 18-year-old punched the animal with his right arm and escaped.

Ambulance officers called to the scene were initially told the teenager's hand had been amputated.

He had significant injuries, but his arm was still intact.

He was reported to be stable in hospital and would undergo surgery to save the arm.

Ambulance spokesman Neil Noble said the teenager was lucky to be alive.

Mr Noble said the area was well-known for its crocodile population. Without quick medical attention it could have been a fatal attack.

"Reports from the scene are that he was dared to jump into the water, which he did," Mr Noble said.

"To get him out of the water was absolutely vital in case that crocodile was able to get a good grip, do a death roll and drown him, which I believe is often the case."

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