'Exceptionally lucky' Aussie teen somehow escapes crocodile's grip after Queensland river-jump dare




A teenager is recovering in hospital after being mauled by a crocodile in a far north Queensland river.

Lee De Paauw was dragged out of the water by friends yesterday, alive but injured, after his foolhardy night-time stunt.

Lee de Paauw jumped off the Innisfail esplanade wharf into the Johnstone River just before 2.30am (local time) yesterday as a dare.

The 18-year-old was then attacked by a saltwater crocodile, which mauled one of his arms.

Queensland paramedic Neil Noble said it was fortunate Mr de Paauw was able to escape the reptile's grip before he drowned in a "death roll".

"This gentleman is extremely lucky to survive this incident, that river is known for very large numbers of crocodiles in the waters," Mr Noble told Nine News.

"He's exceptionally lucky that that crocodile didn't get a good grip, go into a death roll and drown him."

Mr Noble says Mr de Paauw suffered multiple injuries, including fractures, to his arms.

Brenton Gangemi, owner of local wildlife cruises Snapping Tours, said he believed the culprit croc was a three-and-a-half to four metre male saltwater crocodile that had been frequenting the area recently.

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