Teenager mauled by crocodile after 'friends dared him to jump in river' in Australia

Hatty Collier
Attack: A teenager was attacked by a crocodile in Queensland: AFP/Getty Images

A teenager was mauled by a crocodile after he was allegedly dared to jump into the predator-infested river in Australia.

Lee De Paauw, 18, was attacked by the crocodile after jumping from the wharf into the Johnstone River, Queensland, just before 2.30am on Sunday.

He fought back against the predator and managed to escape but he suffered serious injuries to his left arm and hand.

Australian media reported that he used his left arm to punch the crocodile in the head.

He was taken to Cairns Hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition with his family at his bedside.

Queensland paramedic Neil Noble said it was initially reported that the man had lost his arm to the crocodile but first responders found it was just very badly injured.

He said: “Hopefully surgeons can help him and restore full use of his arm.”

Mr Noble said it was believed Mr de Paauw jumped in the river as part of a dare and had to be helped to safety by friends.

“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,” he said.

“We’re just very grateful that he’s survived this incident because it could have turned out to be quite fatal."

Brenton Gangemi, the owner of the local wildlife cruises business 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.