Teen in hospital after fighting off croc

  • 20/03/2017

A teenager has fought off a crocodile after being dared to jump into the river by his mates.

Lee De Paauw, 18, desperately punched the reptile repeatedly to free himself from its jaws during a foolhardy late night swim in the Johnstone River in north Queensland.

He had jumped into the water about 2:30am on Sunday. The same friends who dared him to jump in had to drag him to safety.

The teen suffered serious bite wounds and needed surgery at a Cairns hospital.

crocodile attack queensland
Lee De Paauw is recovering in hospital (Facebook)

Cairns Senior Operations Supervisor Rita Kelly said the crocodile was not seen before the incident but the man's injuries indicated he had been attacked by one.

"We're not exactly sure why he went into the water," Kelly told NT News.

"He is very lucky. His arm is still intact, which is very fortunate."

The crocodile was believed to be up to 4 metres long and had been seen in the area recently.

In May 2016 New Zealand-born photographer Cindy Waldron died after she was dragged under water by a 4.3m saltwater crocodile while walking with a friend at Thornton Beach, north of Cairns.