Teen mauled by croc after playful dare goes horribly wrong

He's lucky to be alive.
Facebook / Lee Depaauw

Surgeons are hoping to restore an 18-year-old the use of his arm after it was mangled in a croc attack in north Queensland’s Johnstone River.

The area is well known for crocodiles, however Lee De Paauw insisted he wasn’t scared of getting in the water – which prompted his friends to egg him on, reports the Cairns Post.

At around 2.20am, Lee leapt from the wharf into the water and began to wade out when a crocodile grabbed hold of his left arm.

Witness Sophie Paterson, 24, told The Courier-Mail that it happened ‘pretty much as soon as he jumped in’.

There was blood everywhere and he just wouldn’t stop screaming.

‘I thought he had lost his arm because of how bad it looked.’

RELATED: Young mum lucky to be alive after shocking fall into croc-infested water

It’s said Lee punched the crocodile with his right arm which is how he escaped.

He was taken to Cairns Hospital for surgery.

Queensland Ambulance Service Cairns spokesman, Neil Noble, told reporters Lee ‘has been really badly injured and hopefully surgeons can help him and restore the use of his arm.’

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan spoke up as calls come to cull the crocodile population in the area. 

‘Most people have got common sense … we can’t legislate to protect d***heads, but we need to be protecting the community, public safety and our tourism reputation are priority.’


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