A swimmer is lucky to be alive after a 6ft crocodile bit him and clamped its jaws around his head.
The unnamed man, 44, was attacked by the reptile while taking a dip in a lake near Cairns, in Queensland, Australia.
But despite having a narrow escape he insisted he would return there to swim again, a paramedic said.
He said he was drifting through the water at 12.45pm on Thursday when he felt a “sudden impact” clasp on the top of his head.
Using his hands, he managed to pry its jaws off his head, which snapped shut on his hand.
The man was left with “puncture marks on his head”.
He then slowly swam back to the bank of Lake Placid to avoid attracting the animal’s attention, before he got help.
Paramedics arrived at the scene and took him to hospital.
He was left with minor puncture wounds to his scalp, the side of his face, his finger and his shoulder.
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The survivor told paramedics he thought the creature was a saltwater crocodile and up to two metres (6.5ft) long, 9News reports.
Critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney said: “When we got there, he was remarkably calm and it was clear there were puncture marks on his head.
“He described to us that the crocodile had bitten his head and he had tried to pry its jaws off his hand and as he did so, its jaws snapped on his hand.”
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He added: “He was obviously concerned making that swim that the animal would come up and attack him again, but thankfully it didn’t.”
The paramedic said he was lucky the injuries weren’t significantly worse.
If the crocodile had bitten into his neck or throat where the major blood vessels are he could have been killed, he added.
Paramedics described him as being a “fit” swimmer who often trains in the lake.
Mr Sweeney said: “He’s quite a robust individual who insisted that he’d be back swimming there soon, so he’s a braver man than I.”
The paramedic said the swimmer was “concerned that the animal would attack him again”, news.com.au reports.
He added: “He is a very lucky man. It could have been worse.”
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