Fisherman stabs huge croc in head to escape attack

A Queensland man has cheated death by escaping the jaws of a crocodile after stabbing it in the head with a pocket knife as it dragged him into a river on Cape York.

Nov 10, 2021, updated Nov 10, 2021
The remains of a missing fisherman are believed to have been found inside a large crocodile.. Photo: ABC

The remains of a missing fisherman are believed to have been found inside a large crocodile.. Photo: ABC

Parks and Wildlife officers said the 60-year-old had been fishing on his property on the banks of a remote part of the McIvor River, near Hope Vale, last Wednesday.

He saw a bull standing on part of the bank he wanted to fish from so he shooed it away.

As he prepared to cast his line, a crocodile lunged out of the water and knocked him over.

The reptile then clamped its jaws around his boots and started dragging him down the bank and into the river.

The man grabbed a mangrove tree branch held on as the animal pulled him toward the water.

Eventually he lost strength and let go, with the crocodile pulling him into the river.

The man used his pocket knife to stab the crocodile in its head repeatedly before he went into the water.

The reptile suddenly let go and the man scrambled back up the bank to safety.

He then drove himself to Cooktown Hospital and from there he was flown to Cairns, where he is still recovering from his injuries.

Department of Environment and Science expert Matt Brien says it’s a “miracle, absolutely” that the man survived.

“He fortunately escaped the grip of a four to four and a half metre crocodile,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“The odds of doing that are about zero. So it’s unusual that he’s still here, but we’re grateful that he is.”

Dr Brein said a study of previous attacks found that lone humans have zero chance of survival when attacked by crocodile more than 4m long.

Humans had only survived previous large crocodiles attacks when they had been with other people.

“And then they hold on to them, and you’re able to pull them out when the crocodile tries to get a better grip,” Dr Brein said.

“So the fact that he’s alive is significant, it’s quite amazing, it’s almost unheard of. So he’s he’s done extremely well to get out with his life.”

Department of Environment and Science experts spoke with the man in hospital on Tuesday and found his injuries consistent with a crocodile attack.

They believe the animal was attracted to area by the bull.

The department said due to the remote location of property and lack of public access they won’t attempt to catch the crocodile.

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