It’s what men do. A piece in yesterday’s Times:
A man has survived a crocodile attack in the far north of Australia by prising apart the creature’s jaws, which had been clamped around his head.
The 44-year-old man had been swimming in Lake Placid, north of Cairns in Queensland, when he encountered what is thought to have been a saltwater crocodile. He sustained multiple cuts to his head, face, shoulder and hands but managed to swim ashore.
Paul Sweeney, a paramedic who helped to treat the man, said there was evidence of puncture wounds through the scalp on both sides of his head.
“The gentleman explained he was swimming . . . and suddenly felt this impact, clasp on the top of his head, which he recognised to be a crocodile,” he said. “He put his hands into its jaws to prise them off his head and it let go and the jaw snapped shut on his left forefinger.”
Conscious of not wanting to draw the crocodile into making a second lunge, the man swam slowly back to the bank and pulled himself out of the water before raising the alarm.
“He was concerned the animal would attack him again,” Mr Sweeney said. “He’s a very lucky man — it could have been worse.”
The victim was said to be a regular swimmer at Lake Placid and “very fit”.
He was taken to hospital in Cairns and is expected to make a full recovery.
A team of wildlife officers were due to inspect the area and search for the crocodile, which is believed to be about 6ft long.
Signs will be put up in the area alerting visitors to the presence of crocodiles.
There have been nearly 40 crocodile attacks in Queensland since 1985, 11 of them fatal. Last September a man survived an attack while snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.
The population of saltwater crocodiles has grown significantly in recent decades since it became a protected species and there are now estimated to be up to 100,000 in northern Australia.
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