Drunk Aussie jumps in croc-infested river to win girl over, nearly dies

  • 21/03/2017

A Queensland teenager who narrowly cheated death after being mauled by a crocodile says it was "all worth it" after he won a date with a girl he was trying to impress.

Lee De Paauw, 18, told 9 News he'd drunk "about 10 cups of goon" with a group of friends when he attempted to show that crocodiles in the Johnstone River are more likely to attack tourists than locals.

Among that group was 24-year-old Sophie Paterson, a British backpacker visiting Australia who Mr De Paauw had taken a fancy to - and so he devised a plan to get her attention.

"I started telling them how backpackers were more likely to get eaten by a crocodile than Australians. We decided to go down to the river to test the theory," Mr De Paauw told 9 News.

However, when he went down to the water's edge, Mr De Paauw was grabbed on the arm by a three-metre crocodile and dragged down into the water.

Witnesses say he was dragged six metres before he punched the croc in the snout and gouged its eye, causing the reptile to release him and let him clamber to safety.

He is now in Cairns Hospital receiving treatment for a number of broken bones and deep wounds on his left arm - but when asked what he thought about most people considering him one of the stupidest men in the country, he had a simple response.

"I'm not, really - I'm just trying to prove a point," he said, before failing to mention what the point he was trying to make was.

Mr De Paauw says while "haters gonna hate", the experience was all worthwhile as he has now convinced Ms Paterson to go on a date with him to the movies.