Marcus McGowan, 51, was snorkeling with his wife and a group of friends, he describes in A declaration. While checking corals and fish, he was attacked from behind by a crocodile which set its jaws on his head.
“I thought it was a shark”
“At first I thought it was a shark,” he says. “But when I reached out I realized it was a crocodile. I was able to spread its jaws just enough to get my head out of its mouth.”
The crocodile tried to attack him a second time, still without success. Although the man was bitten on the hand, the animal was repelled.
Marcus McGowan was quickly brought to safety by boat, after which he was taken to hospital by helicopter. There he could be treated for his head and hand injuries.
The Australian government says it will investigate the incident, although it points out that crocodiles in the ocean are difficult to locate. Animals often swim tens of kilometers a day.
Crocodiles are common in northern Australia. Since the ban on crocodile hunting in 1974, the population has increased sharply. Where there were around 5,000, the number of crocodiles has increased to around 30,000.
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