Snorkeller prises crocodile's jaws from his head in miracle escape after being mauled near luxury resort

30 May 2023, 09:14 | Updated: 30 May 2023, 09:16

The snorkeller survived the crocodile attack
The snorkeller survived the crocodile attack. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Kit Heren

A snorkeller escaped with his life after levering a crocodile's jaws from his head when he was mauled while looking at coral.

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Marcus McGowan was swimming about 17 miles from Haggerstone Island in Cape York, in the far north east of Australia when the giant reptile pounced.

Mr McGowan, 51, suffered head and hand injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment after the attack.

"While checking out some coral and fish and talking to a fellow snorkeller, I was attacked from behind by a saltwater crocodile which got its jaws around my head," he said in a statement.

"I thought it was a shark but when I reached up, I realised it was a crocodile. I was able to lever its jaws open just far enough to get my head out.

"The crocodile then attempted to attack me a second time, but I managed to push it away with my right hand, which was then bitten by the croc."

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A spokesperson for the environmental department of Queensland, where the attack took place, said they would investigate the incident.

But the spokesperson warned that "crocodiles in the open ocean can be difficult to locate as the animals often travel tens of kilometres per day".

The attack took place near Haggerstone Island Resort, which describes itself as a "family-owned, exclusive luxury resort".

Crocodile attacks on humans in Australia are relatively rare in general, but several incidents have been recorded in recent months.

Other recent crocodile attacks in northern Australia include an incident in February, when officials killed a 4.2 metre crocodile that went after a man and ate his dog.

Earlier in May, the remains of Kevin Darmody, a 65-year-old fisherman, were found inside a 4.1m crocodile.

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