Australian man saves himself from huge freshwater crocodile using his ‘good hand’

One man’s outing to a remote location in Australia ended with him fending off an attack by a freshwater crocodile and barely managing to save himself with the help of “his one good hand”.

The 40-year-old, who has not been identified by authorities, was on a motorbike ride and was swimming on Sunday in Adels Grove, about 10 km from Lawn Hill National Park in northwest Queensland, when he was attacked by the reptile.

The man swam behind a waterfall, where the 2- to 3-meter-long crocodile emerged and grabbed his arm, said Brad Hardy, Northwest District Superintendent for the Queensland Ambulance Service.

The man struggled to free himself with his other hand, freeing himself from the animal’s grip after sustaining “significant injuries,” Greig Allan, an aircrew officer for aeromedical organization RACQ Lifeflight Rescue, told 9News. The man was later transported by helicopter to the hospital.

“As you can imagine, a two to three meter crocodile grabbing you by the arm is going to create some pretty significant injuries, which is what he had,” he said.

Allan said the man was lucky to have escaped with his life.

“He was trying to get into a waterfall and didn’t see the crocodile. So when he reached out, the crocodile freaked out and grabbed his arm,” he added.

“He had lacerations on his arm and he was able to break free, which is amazing, with a good hand, but in doing so he created a lot of other injuries, punctures in both hands.”

The rescue helicopter was called to the national park at around 2pm, after the crew of the motorcycle he was with at the time took the man to a nearby airstrip.

Allan said the man received first aid from members of his group to stop the bleeding.

“He was in a lot of pain and the crocodile’s teeth were punctured very deep,” he said.

“When the crocodile came out, it had another little pinch on its leg, just in case.”

Hardy said the area has a large population of freshwater crocodiles, but they typically don’t pose a threat unless frightened off by humans.

“They are normally quite shy, but when they are surprised, they are aggressive,” he said.

Michelle Lomo, former owner of the Adels Grove site, which is a popular tourist destination, said freshwater crocodiles often “guard themselves” but can become aggressive if they feel threatened.

“What happens is, if people get to a certain spot where the crocodile is behind the waterfall, they’re stuck back there because they don’t want to leave,” she said.

She explained that you should make a lot of noise to scare them off before entering the water.

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