A 56-year-old man is "lucky" to be alive after being bitten on the head by a crocodile at Lake Placid, on the outskirts of Cairns.
Paramedics were called to the lake just before one o’clock this afternoon, where they treated the man for head, face, shoulder and hand injuries.
Critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney said the victim was conscious and alert when he arrived at the scene.
“The gentleman explained that he had been swimming in the water,” he said.
“Suddenly he felt this sudden impact clasp on the top of his head which he recognised to be a crocodile.
“The animal has bitten the top of his head with jaws either side.
“He put his hands into the jaws to prise them off his head.
“When he did so and let go the jaw snapped shut onto his left forefinger which wasn’t broken or severed fortunately but there is another puncture wound in his finger.”
The man then made the nervous swim back to shore.
“He was obviously concerned making that swim that the animal could come up and attack him again but it didn’t,” Mr Sweeney said.
“Had the crocodile bitten into his neck or his throat where the major blood vessels are it could have been a fatality.
“He’s a very lucky man.”
The man sustained puncture wounds to his scalp, left jaw and cheekbone, right shoulder and finger.
He’s now in Cairns Hospital and is expected to have stitches.
However, according to the paramedic who treated him, the attack will not deter the man from entering the water in the future.
“He suggested that he’d be back swimming there soon,” Mr Sweeney said.
The Department of Environment and Science has confirmed it will conduct a site assessment of Lake Placid.
All crocodiles that pose a threat to human safety are targeted for removal under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.