Croc attack victim posted numerous warnings about croc safety on social media
A keen young fisherman believed to have jumped into a croc-infested river in the dead of night because of a dare has previously posted numerous crocodile safety warnings on social media.
Lee De Paauw, 18, is recovering in Cairns Hospital after he was bitten by a crocodile when he was climbing out of the Johnstone River near Fitzgerald Esplanade about 2:30am this morning.
The croc - which authorities say was up to 3 metres in length - reportedly latched on to his left arm, but Mr De Paauw apparently punched it with his right hand and managed to escape.
Paramedics say Mr De Paauw was dared to jump in the river by friends, despite the Johnstone River's status as a known crocodile habitat.
In an ironic twist, Mr De Paauw has previously posted numerous warnings about crocodile attacks and water safety on his Facebook profile.
In one post, he shared a 2013 video of a croc attack in Darwin involving a group of pig hunters in a remote Territory river.
Another post was shared from the Facebook group "FISHING MUCK UPS" and featured a large croc on the bank of a river next to some fishing tackle and gear with the caption "Not fishing there".
An ambulance spokesman said initial reports from the scene of last night's attack suggested Mr De Paauw's left hand had been amputated.
"Circumstances that led up to this attack are quite sketchy but reports from the scene are that he was dared to jump into the water, which he did," the spokesman said.
"Unfortunately the area is well known for its crocodile population and we’re grateful that he survived this incident because it could have turned out to be quite fatal.
"Initially it was reported that his harm had been amputated however that is not the case."
"To get him out of the water was absolutely vital in case that crocodile was able to get a good grip on him and do the death roll and drown him which is I believe often the case."