Paramedics say that a Queensland teenager is lucky to have kept his arm, after being mauled when his mates “dared” him to jump into a croc-infested river overnight.
18-year-old Lee de Paauw of Innisfail took a plunge into the Johnstone River from the esplanade wharf around 2.30am today, when he was grabbed on the left arm by a crocodile.
He reportedly managed to “punch” the creature in the eye and escape, and the Queensland Ambulance Service were called to the scene, initially fearing that his arm had been severed.
The teen was taken to Innisfail Hospital and then Cairns Hospital for treatment in the early hours of this morning.
Neil Noble of Queensland Ambulance Service said that “reports from the scene are he was dared to jump into the water, which he did and unfortunately that area is well known for its crocodile population.”
“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,” Noble continued.
Noble said that the teen is “very fortunate” to have his appendage intact. “Hopefully surgeons can help him and restore full use of his arm. We’re just very grateful that he’s survived this incident because it could have turned out to be [fatal].”
Source: ABC News.