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Australian crocodile attacksdavid showing the damage to his boat after a crocodile attack

Photo courtesy of Solar Whisper

On average only one person a year is killed by a crocodile attack in Australia, in comparison three people a year die from bee stings, and thousands from smoking and car accidents so as long as you take some sensible precautions there is no need to worry a crocodile attack may ruin your Australian holiday.
Most crocodile attacks occur between late September and January when crocodiles are hungry after the dry season and are preparing to breed, and most victims had been under the influence of alcohol, and swimming at times and in places that most sensible people would avoid.
Crocodiles are capable of biting with a force of a tonne per square inch, believed to be more powerful than the jaws of the legendary Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur!
Although the average annual death toll from crocodile attacks is only one, there was a bit of a peak in crocodile attacks in 2005 when from late August to early October three people were killed and one girl injured.

Crocodile (Crocodylidae Crocodilia) Jumping For Food On Adelaide River., Australia
Crocodile Jumping For Food On Adelaide River., Australia
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Marrakai Station, Northern Territory, January 2008

You know you're having a bad day when you get bitten by a crocodile and get shot all in the same day....

Thirty year old Jason Green was out collecting eggs at Marrakai Station, about 120km east of Darwin.
Just as Jason stuck his arm in the nest to pick up some eggs the owner of the eggs shot out of the mud and lashed out at him. The croc got a good grip on his arm and was thrashing about trying to drag him underwater but fortunately Jason's colleague Zac Fitzgerald was there with a gun to save the day, just a bit unfortunate that in all the splashing around the shot also hit Jason in the right elbow.
Jason was helicoptered to Darwin hospital for treatment with bite wounds, gunshot wound, and suspected broken bone in his arm. His comments when the doctor was finished with him; I don't think I'll be at work for a couple of days....

Northern Territory, July 2007

71 Year old Melbourne truckie Bill Egan was enjoying his annual holiday in the Northern Territory and went fishing with his wife Benita on the Carrington River near Borroloola. Some of his fishing lines got tangled up around the propellor and while he tried to free them he fell overboard and disappeared underwater. His wife threw a rope out but he never surfaced again.

Arnhem Land, July 2006

An eight year old Aboriginal girl went to collect some water from the Blythe river while she was fishing with her family when a crocodile attacked her and she disappeared in the evening. Parks and Wildlife rangers and police started searching but it took about three weeks before local residents shot and harpooned a five metre long croc near the Gadji outstation that they cut open to discover some human remains and a pair of shorts.

Cape Tribulation, November 2006

24 year old Belgian tourist Stefaan Van Turnhout, now world famous as Stupid Stefaan, was on holidays in Cape Tribulation and went for a walk on Myall Beach. At the north end of the beach he arrived at Mason Creek where 2 metre long saltwater crocodile Allan lives, well known with the locals.
There were plenty of warning signs at the creek to make people aware of the presence of the croc but SS decided that he was going to get a great photo and waded into the creek, camera in one hand, and in the other hand a stick that he hit the water surface with, to try to attract the crocodile closer.
This tempting technique proved extremely succesful, and the crocodile came closer very quick, and very close.
While a group of about six others watched the crocodile lunged forward and bit SS on the left knee.
One person in the crowd that witnessed the attack ran to the Cape Trib pharmacy and raised the alarm, prompting Dr.Kelly Lash to phone the ambulance. When the injured Belgian finally made his way in to the pharmacy it became clear that the bite was not all that serious, though the whole ambulance and police circus still made their way up to Cape Tribulation, a 1.5 hour trip from the nearest town Mossman.
Cape Tribulation locals are pissed off with the stupid behaviour of the Belgian that invaded the croc's territory and annoyed it with slapping the stick on the water, as now Queensland Park and Wildlife officers will catch their local croc Allan and sell him to a crocodile farm where eventually he will be killed.
The girfriend of the Belgian master of disaster thought it quite funny as he had already been bitten by a monkey earlier on in his travels. Crocodile Belgee himself forgot the click the shutter on his camera when it all happened too quick so he never even got his close up photo.

crocodile attack at cape tribulation
The knee of Crocodile Belgee.
Photo by Dr. Kelly Lash
of Cape Trib pharmacy

site of cape tribulation crocodile attack
Mason Creek where the attack happened.
Photo by Rob Lapaer of
Rainforest Hideaway B&B

sign warning of crocodile attacks
One of thecrocodile warning signs.
Photo by Rob Lapaer of
Rainforest Hideaway B&B

bed and breakfast accommodation in cape tribulation

Northern Territory, April 2006

After cyclone Monica swept across the Northern Territory in April 2006 a few trees were down so Fred Buckland went to work at Corroboree Park near Darwin to remove a tree that was leaning against the enclosure of a crocodile named Brutus. Much to his surprise the 4.5 metre crocodile emerged from his pond and at high speed ran towards him and grabbed the chainsaw out of his hands! It was not clear if the croc had actually tried to attack Fred or was just annoyed with the noise but after Fred escaped the croc kept chewing on the chainsaw for over an hour until it was well and truly rooted.

September 2005, Coburg Peninsula, Northern Territory

Russell Butel, 55,a very experienced diver, was collecting fish and coral for his aquarium business at Washon Head on the Coburg Peninsula in the Northern Territory in September 2005.
A 5 metre long crocodile clamped his massive jaws around Russel's head and crushed his skull. He was probably close to the surface of the water at the moment of the attack. His friend Nick Sherwood was in a dinghy nearby and reported him missing. A National Parks ranger later found the body about 2km. from where the attack took place. As this was a remote area which was home to quite a few crocodiles and the diver had known there was a high risk of attack it was decided not to shoot the crocodile.

Doubtful Bay, Kimberley Coast, 3 October 2005

10-year-old girl Chantal Burnup from Busselton, W.A. was on holidays in the north of Western Australia and went for a swim early afternoon with her father Richard and brother Simon. They were in a freshwater pool when suddenly Chantal was pulled under water by a three metre crocodile. Her father dragged her back to shore with the crocodile still attached around her torso while her 14 year old brother punched the crocodile in the head which convinced it to let go. The attack caused serious injuries to her arms and upper body. Because of the remoteness of the area she was not flown to a hospital but a helicopter airlifted her to the nearest cattle station, to be treated by a doctor flow in from elsewhere.

Groote Eylandt, 24 September 2005

37 year old Canadian mine superintendent Russell Harris working at the Gemco mine in Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory, went snorkeling on a Saturday afternoon with a friend at Picnic Beach, a popular spot just south of Umbakumba. During the snorkeling they each went their own way but when his friend could not find him hours later the alarm was raised. Police and locals searched the area with a plane and boats without much success. Sunday morning the search was continued and they soon found the man's body, more than a kilometre from where he was last seen. Injuries to his body indicated he had been mauled by a crocodile, soon after a four metre long saltwater crocodile was spotted in the area that was the most likely suspect.

Lakefield, near Cooktown,Qld, 16 August 2005

60 year old Barry Jefferies and his missus Glenda were on a camping holiday in Lakefield National Park and decided to go and do some fishing in their canoe in Midway Waterhole on the Normanby River. Around dusk Barry hooked a fish but as he dragged it in a 400kg croc tried to get it. Barry saw the croc approach and tried to fend it off with his paddle but the monster lunged at him, clamped its massive jaws around his arm and dragged him into the water.
The canoe overturned and Barry's missus ended up in the water too but swam to the shore, got in the car and drove 20 minutes to the ranger station to raise the alarm. Despite intensive searching with boats and helicopters Barry's body was not found but the croc was located late afternoon the next day and shot dead. However, no human remains were found in this croc so it remains to be seen if rangers shot the right croc. Some torn clothing was found several hundred meters from their campsite. Rangers and tour operators reckoned it had been foolish to venture out on the crocodile infested waters in such a small craft, and the area had numerous signposts with warnings.

If you're interested in crocodile attacks check the daily local Darwin newpaper the Northern Territory News, there's hardly ever more than a few days without some sort of crocodile event on the frontpage.

Saltwater Crocodile Singlet

crocodile photo
Crocodile Mick at work


Crocodiles have perfected their hunting techniques for around 200 million years and can swim under water at 30 km/h withhout a ripple on the surface and then burst out and on a short distance can outrun a horse. If a prey puts up too much resistance they will do the "death roll" to get it off its feet. They even jump out of the water to catch low flying birds and, as you can see on the "jumping crocodile tours" in the Northern Territory raise themselves out of the water and "stand" on their tail for a few seconds to grab a piece of meat.
Crocodiles are known to watch their prey to learn their habits so they can launch an attack and be assured of success, crocs are not known to waste their energy. If you live near a river and have to get water do it at a different time everyday as the croc will learn your routine.

Photo by Nancy Hagoort

Many crocodiles are large enough to catch and kill animals as big as cows, horses and water buffaloes, females can grow up to 4 meters in length, males can reach 7 meters in length and weigh over 1,000kg. On average one person a year in Australia is killed, usually by ignoring some of the common sense safety rules.
When the crocodile has killed its prey and it is not able to swallow it in one piece it will tear its prey in pieces by wildly shaking its head and neck. The body of the victim is held above the water surface and literally torn to pieces. When it is a large victim, the arms, legs and sometimes even the head are parted from the body. After that the crocodile will eat the pieces. People who are looking for a crocodile victim will often find shocking leftovers; parts of the body and clothes lying around on the ground and sometimes even up in the surrounding trees...
Though crocodiles sometimes eat carrion, they mostly eat fresh meat of recent captured preys. There's hardly any evidence for the theory that crocodiles will store a corpse under a log until the meat starts rotting.
The best time to see crocodiles when you go on a boat cruise is in the dry season (winter) when the water is cold and the cold blooded reptiles come out of the water to absorb heat from sunshine.
Do not expect to see crocodiles anytime you go to a river in the north, they are masters at hiding and only the eyes will stick out above the surface while the rest of the body is submerged. I remember going out on the Daly River in the Northern Territory where we motored around for three hours in the afternoon looking for crocs without spotting anything, it was also a hot day so the temptation to go for a swim was big. It was just as well we didn't give in to that temptation though as later that night in the pitch dark we re-visited that same stretch of river and it was un-nerving how many pairs of eyes, reflecting in the spot light, had surrounded us and were watching our every move. They are also masters at camouflage, several times that night we approached objects that, even from two metres away, everyone agreed was a log and not a croc but then suddenly with a huge splash the "log" would swim off!

crocodile attack queensland australia

The crocodile above was responsible for killing 2 schoolgirls at Pindi Pindi, Queensland in 1933. They disappeared after going to school on horseback - One girl was drowned, the body of the other girl was found in the crocodile's stomach, here on this photo with the men that caught and killed the crocodile.

The reputation of the appetite of crocodiles received a bit of a dent when early March 2004 the bodies of two prostitutes were found in the Adelaide River near Darwin. They had been thrown off a bridge alive but had drowned and their intact bodies were found by a boatload of croc-spotting tourists 30 hours later.

Throughout the Top End rangers keep an eye on all popular swimming holes for crocs that may wander in, below is a photo of Jim Jim Falls (in the dry season) where you can see a crocodile trap. This appears to give people a sense of safety as they were swimming nearby the trap when this photo was taken!

crocodile trap at Jim Jim falls
Photo by Mark Maupin

crocodile attack

Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, 2003

A 40 year old woman from the Pirlangimpi Aboriginal community was attacked by a saltwater crocodile on 22 november 2003 after she was separated from a group hunting for mud mussels on Melville Island, off northern Australia. She attempted to cross a creek early on Sunday night on the full tide but was attacked by the crocodile that bit her on her back but she fought it off by hitting the hungry reptile over the head with her bag of mussels and climbed a mangrove tree where she stayed overnight.

Bathurst Bay, north Queensland, October 2004

A group of three Brisbane families were on their annual 4WD camping holiday to far north Queensland where every year for the past five years they had camped at Bathurst Bay, about 250 km. north of Cooktown.
Diane and Andrew Kerr and their three month old baby were sleeping in their tent on the beach when they were woken up by a noise, Diane looked through the netting of the tent and said; there's a croc! As Andrew rose the 4.2 metre crocodile lunged forward, grabbed him by the legs and started dragging him away. His concern was still with the baby that slept in the tent with them and while he was in the crocodile's jaws he kept yelling 'GET THE BABY! GET THE BABY!' His wife grabbed the cot with the baby in one hand and held on to her husband's hand with the other but the 300 kg. crocodile continued to drag him outside the tent. 60 year old grandmother Alicia Sorohan and her husband Bill were camping nearby and when they heard the screams they rushed over to find their friend Andrew being dragged towards the sea. The supergranny then leaped on the crocodile's head, causing him to let go of Andrew but now the crocodile turned on her, grabbing her by the arm. Fortunately Alicia's son Jason had now appeared on the scene who had a gun and he shot the crocodile through the head. They then set off a rescue beacon that alerted Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers in the area who sent a helicopter to evacauate them to an airport from where the Royal Flying Doctors could fly them to Cairns hospital. Andrew had injuries to his legs and body and was believed to be in a serious condition, while Alicia had injuries to her arm and upper body and face. The male crocodile was estimated to be about fifty years old.
Supergranny Alicia was later awarded a bravery medal at a ceremony in Cairns that was also attended by croc crazy Steve Irwin. He also received Alicia as a guest of honour at his Australia Zoo.
See her interview here in this movie

Beerwah, Queensland

When a storm blew up in the night and some trees came down in Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo the famous croc hunter started cleaning up a crocodile enclosure in the dead of night but a croc latched on to the leg of his helper. It did some damage but he survived but Workplace Health and Safety later fined him for not reporting an accident in a workplace.

Black Jungle Swamp, Northern Territory

11 Year old Briony Goodsell was enoying a swim with her sister Beth and two friends in a creek at Black Jungle Swamp in Lambells Lagoon near Darwin. A crocodile pulled Briony under water as she swam ahead of her friends who saw her briefly resurface with a distressed look on her face. Not knowing there was a croc her friends then swam out to help her but she disappeared again and never resurfaced and all they saw was a crocodile tail slap the water. Armed police searched the creek and found part of the little girl's body about half a kilometre downstream.

Blyth River, near Darwin, Northern Territory, 2003

19 Year old Manuel Pascoe was returning from hunting geese in November 2003 when a 3 metre saltwater crocodile lunged from a creek and tried to pull him into the water. The powerful reptile would not let go until the Manuel's aunt, Margaret Rinybuma, punched it in the snout. The attack happened near the Blyth river, roughly 250 km. east of Darwin and left Manuel with muscle damage to his leg but he was later reported to be in a stable condition in the hospital.

Borroloola, Northern Territoy, 2010

Crocodiles are normally a protected species and there is a big fine on shooting one but when this crocodile started circling two guys in a boat smaller than the croc it was considered reasonable to get the gun out and shoot the monster before it would attack or overturn the boat.


monster crocodile monster croc
monster crocodile

Cairns, North Queensland, 1994

A group of tourists watching a crocodile feeding show at the Johnstone RIver Crocodile Farm got more than they bargained for when the 4.1 metre croc grabbed its handler by the arm, dragged him into the pond and did the infamous death roll, resulting in the death of the man who had been working at the farm several years.

Eye of Saltwater Crocodile
Eye of Saltwater Crocodile
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Cairns, North Queensland, 1997


35 year old man Ron Bakx was swimming at night at Yorkeys Beach in the north of Cairns when he was attacked by a crocodile that gave him some deep puncture wounds to the head, back and shoulder. He did not actually see the croc but was extremely lucky to survive the attack. He admitted later that a midnight swim was not a smart idea and it was his own fault for invading the croc's territory.

Cairns, North Queensland, December 2004

Drew Ramsden, 18, was enjoying a few drinks with friends when he went to the edge of the Barron River at about 10.30pm to wash his face and had his head underwater while his mates, who saw the 2.5 metre reptile approaching, were yelling out CROC!, CROC! They also threw rocks and beercans in an attempt to make the croc stop. As Drew lifted his head out the water he heard CROC! and at the same instant felt the whack of the croc's jaws hitting his head. The croc was unable to get a good grip on his head and he managed to scramble up the riverbank, with only some punctures and teethmarks on his head and chin that were fixed with a few stitches. The river where this happened is separated by only 1 km of rapids from Lake Placid, a very popular swimming spot for the Cairns locals but the place was deserted after this event.

Cairns, North Queensland, 1998

A 15 year old Aboriginal girl at a beer party close to the Cairns city centre went for a swim in Chinaman Creek where she was mauled by a 3metre crocodile that grabbed her leg and dragged her around for several minutes. She managed to get hold of an overhead mangrove branch and screamed for help, two young men came to the rescue and in a tug of war managed to get her out of the crocodile's jaws.

Cairns, North Queensland, 1893

From Cairns Post, 21 January, 1893;

On Tuesday evening last a terrible fate befell James Mason, aged 10 years. The father, Mr J E Mason of Stratford and his two bright healthy sons were bathing in the Barron River. They were in about 2 feet six of water. The sandy muddy spot was their favourite spot. They thought they were safe from crocs in the shallow water.

Suddenly came a splash. The mud was stirred up and the water lashed. The father's surprise turned to horror. He could not see his eldest boy, Jimmy. He threw the other child on the bank and dived where he had seen the splash. He found the boy and grasped his legs. Something more powerful was pulling the boy away. Then the father realised that a croc had taken his boy from his very side.

A few minutes later the croc rose to breathe in the middle of the river. In those fearful jaws was one leg of the unfortunate child.

Cape Flattery, near Cooktown

Marine biologist Tony Avril was scuba diving on some reefs near Cape Flattery in north Queensland when he suddenly felt something grab hold of his foot and tug it. At first he thought it may have been a groper but when the creature pushed forwards he could see a large crocodile head through the murky water.
When they broke the surface during the struggle Tony called out to his wife Avril to start the engine of the boat in the hope that the noise would scare the crocodile. As the crocodile moved around and tried to get a better grip on Tony's diving flipper and foot, he started bashing the crocodile's head with a metal object and tried to gauge his eyes, but the big monster drew his eyes deep inside his sockets. Then the croc tried its favorite trick; the deathroll, but as a biologist Tony recognized this tactic and just grabbed on to the crocodile's body and kept rolling with him. When the croc started swimming away Tony, who had no intention of going too far from his boat, managed to get hold of the crocodile's legs, and got them in a firm grip. By now the crocodile decided that this dinner was just too much hard work and he let go of Tony's foot and swam off. Avril had been following the trail of bubbles and had manouevred the boat right above him so he managed to get on board pretty quick, one other diver that was with them and had missed the whole scenario was also quickly retrieved. Although the thick rubber of the flipper had protected Tony's foot to some extent from the croc's teeth the sheer pressure of the croc's jaws had crushed a lot of small bones in his foot, and after being released from hospital a week later it took nearly another year for the foot to fully recover.

Cape York Peninsula, April 2005

Good Friday turned out to be not such a Good Friday for 37 year old Pom Jason Lewis. He was on a round the world trip, not the usual tourist way but all by human powered transport. He had already capsized in the Atlantic when he was hit by a whale, broken both legs in the US when he got run over by a car, but high up Cape York peninsula paddling from Lizard Island to the mainland he also came under attack of a large crcodile.
The attack happened late afternoon, when he approached the sand bank where he had planned to rest for the night. Two large crocs slipped of the bank and into the water when they spotted him, and started moving around. After a while one suddenly started following him, and gained rapidly.
Jason paddled as fast as he could with the croc only metres behind him when he hit the beach. He ran up the beach but the croc kept hanging around his kayak, which was a bit inconvenient for Jason as all his gear, including his satellite phone, were in there. Using his paddle he tried to scare the croc off but this only resulted in a destroyed paddle. He then spent a night camping on the beach with the croc patrolling and in the morning he managed to get his satellite phone and called in a sea plane to evacuate him. At least he survived with a good story to tell, which not everone on this page can say.

Cape York Peninsula, April 2004

In April 2004 11 year old girl Hannah Thompson went for a swim near the top of Cape York Peninsula at Margaret Bay when she was attacked by a 3.3 metre long crocodile. The animal grabbed her by the arm but luckily a small boat with long time crocodile hunter Ray Turner was next to them and, like a real life Crocodile Dundee, the 57 year old man dived on to the back of the crocodile and gouged the reptile in its left eye. This prompted the croc to let go of the girl but he kept circling the boat after the attack. Ray then delivered the girl and the rest of the group to Haggerstone Island from where she was airlifted to Thursday Island Hospital with deep puncture wounds in her lower arm. Hannah lost her watch in the attack but was recovering well in hospital. Ex-Prime Minister Bob Hawke rang the island to advise them to not tell the story for free but to negotiate a lucrative deal with the highest bidder.

Cape York Peninsula

American schoolboy John Conway was on holidays in Australia and went camping in the remote wilderness of the Cape York Peninsula where 30% of Australia’s salt water crocodiles are found. One of the local wildlife rangers offered to take the group out in a boat at night to observe crocodiles close-up. Intending to give them a really good look, the ranger jumped out of the boat and caught the croc with his bare hands. He struggled for a bit, then got a good grip and holding it tightly, brought it ashore. Then the ranger offered John to hold the croc, John accepted but his grip on the animal slipped and it turned and attacked him. John remembers it took 5 minutes to get the croc off of him with the ranger yelling at him to be careful, because the crocodile’s teeth might be damaged!

An underwater close-up view of a crocodiles mouth focusing on its teeth
This is how an aproaching crocodile looks under water...
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Cooktown, November 2002

Two men in an aluminium fishing boat (tinnie) were several kilometres off shore fishing on the reef when suddenly a large 5 metre crocodile started attacking their boat and managed to punch a few good holes into the metal. The men started their boat and motored back to shore, having to bail water for most the way that was pouring in through the holes that the croc punched.

Daintree river, 1985

daintree river
Ferry across the Daintree river

One December night in 1985 several people, including Beryl Wruck, 40, were at a party on the banks of Stewart Creek, a tributary to the Daintree river, north of Cairns, Queensland. They were all locals and well aware of the number and size of local crocodiles but still decided to wade into the water a bit to cool down in the tropical night, perhaps not aware that the net that normally protects the site had been taken away for repairs. When interviewed later the men said there was a huge splash and the woman was gone. Relatives, police and local SES searched the river for over a week without success. Also some rednecks cruised up and down the river shooting any croc in sight over the next few weeks. While they might have made some impact then there is now certainly no shortage of crocs in this river as you can see on one of the many crocodile spotting trips that now operate on this river. The crocodile, locally known as Kodak, was later captured.

Daintree River, February 2009

On 9 February 2009 tragedy struck again on the Daintree river, when five year old Jeremy Doble was taken in shallow water outside his riverside home. Rangers searched the river for days and trapped several crocs until they found the boy's remains in a 4.3 metre croc. The boy's parents who own the Daintree River Train that takes tourists on croc spotting tours, requested that the animal would not be killed but taken to a crocodile farm or zoo.

Daintree River, November 2009

Tour boat Solar Whisper was happily doing its usual cruise on the Daintree River and came across the spectacle of two fighting crocs, locally known as Fat Albert and Scarface. However, they got more excitement than planned when Fat Albert diverted his attention from Scarface and turned on the boat. The huge five metre crocodile lunged nearly a metre out of the water and bit the railing of the small tour boat, passengers were able to get out of the way but his teeth left some bite marks in the metal of the boat.

crocodile attack on the daintree river
David White of Solar Whisper showing the damage

the crocodile let a good dent
The crocodile left a good dent in the railing of the Solar Whisper

Solar Whisper owner David White said the unprecedented attack was a bit frightening, but after passengers had calmed down a bit they had told him it had been "the highlight of their holiday". The attack was out of character for a crocodile and no boats have been bitten again since then.
Only days before a tourist had managed to fall overboard from another boat in the same area but was quickly plucked from the river before any croc could choose him for dinner.....

Daintree River, November 2011

dog Elmo eaten by a crocodile on the Daintree river

Eight year old dog Elmo, a Jack Russell cross, was happily running around on the banks of the Daintree River as he usually does on Friday 11 November 2011.
He had been doing this for years but this day his luck ran out.
A crocodile, which must have been watching him for a while, burst out of the water of the Daintree river and ate him, filmed by a tourist who happened to spot it from his tour boat.
His owner Dean Clapp, who owns the Daintree Express river tours, was working nearby and noticed his beloved pet missing, but only learned what happened later through a phonecall.

Daly River, Northern Territory, February 2004

Crocodile egg harvesting is a dangerous profession, and professional crocodile egg harvester Joe Wilson found this too in February 2004 when he and a colleague were harvesting eggs on the Daly River. He was near a crocodile nest when suddenly a crocodile attacked him, somehow he managed to survive the attack and was flown by helicopter to Royal Darwin Hospital where he spent three days for treatment to wounds on his abdomen. Joe had been attacked by crocodiles before, a couple of years before he was taken to hospital in a mate's car when he had been bitten on his arm by a croc in Arnhem Land.

Daly River, Northern Territory, March 2004

The small community living on the banks of the Daly River in the Northern Territory is used to living with crocodiles as the river is full of them but when in March 2004 a four metre saltie that had been hanging out close to some of the houses took a dog from near a group of playing children it got a bit too close for comfort and Parks and Wildlife ranger Tom Nichols was called in and shot the crocodile.

Daly River, Northern Territory, April 2009

Although everyone knows the Daly River is full of large crocodiles there are still people in the local community there that continue to swim across the river, and so in April 2009 a 20 year old man was disappeared while swimming with his brother across the crocodile infested river around two o'clock in the night while the man's wife was watching from the riverbank.
This attack had the classic standard ingredients of alcohol and swimming after dark. The remains of the man were found a kilometre upstream from where he was attacked and police destroyed a 4.3m croc believed to be responsible for the attack.

East Alligator River, Northern Territory, April 2005

36 Year old Geoff Bolitho, from Jabiru, NT, was fishing with two mates on the East Alligator River when suddenly and totally unexpected a 4m saltwater crocodile leaped into his boat and bit him on the head. He was not seriously injured but still they decided to lift anchor and gt out of there and reported the incident to rangers the next day who sent out a hunting party and shot the crcocodile. This was quite an unusual attack as crocodiles do not normally attack boats or people in boats. Geoff was just lucky the croc did not get a good grip on his head and he lived to tell the tale.

Finniss River, Northern Territory, 2003

On sunday 22 december 2003 three men who had spent the day riding their quad-bikes went to the Finniss River in the Northern Territory to cool down a bit. One of them, Brett Mann, 22, was carried down the river by the flowing water, the others swam to his aide but then the 4 metre salt water crocodile attacked and killed Brett, his two mates Shaun Blowers and Ashley McGough, both 19, then spent 22 hours up a tree with the crocodile circling around until they were winched to safety by a police helicopter the following day.

Fitzroy River, Northern Territory

Jim Morris from Rockhampton was riding his horse in the Northern Territory and took it down to the river for a drink. He stood next to the horse on the river bank but as he put his foot in the water the horse suddenly bolted and pulled him away from the river, at the same time Jim felt something hit his leg, which turned out to be a crocodile having an unsuccesful snap.

Gulf Country

The Gulf of Carpenteria is sparsly populated and prime croc country. One fisherman was very lucky to survive after standing on a crocodile while fishing in a mangrove swamp. After he stepped on the crocodile's tail, he panicked, dropped his net and sprinted off but the two metre long crocodile ran after him and bit into his ankle. He managed to free himself and get to the safety of his fishing boat.

Crocodile eating a giant perch
Crocodile eating a giant perch
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Kakadu, Northern Territory, 1985


Ms Plumwood, an academic from Sydney, was attacked by a crocodile while canoeing on the East Alligator River in Kakadu National Park in 1985. She survived but says she will never forget the attack. She made a dash for the river bank after the croc repeatedly bumped her canoe and managed to climb a tree when the croc lunged, snapping its massive jaws around her legs. The croc snatched her out of the tree and ``death rolled'' her twice before letting go, possibly to get a better grip with its teeth. This gave Ms Plumwood another chance to climb the tree, but the croc lunged a second time, chomping its jaws into her thigh and dragging her under water for another death roll. But the croc again let go. She struggled up the bank and dragged herself as far away as possible from the water and was found by rangers in a swamp bleeding with serious injuries which included a large part of her thigh bitten off and hanging by mangled tendons.

Kakadu, Northern Territory, 1988

A local man went fishing at the Oenpelli border crossing on the border of Kakadu and Arnhem land. He waded through the water to the other side as he thought there was better fishing there and spent several hours on that side, all along knowing there was a crocodile in the area watching him. It is common for locals in crocodile areas to become complacent about crocodiles as they get used to them. When the man had finished his fishing he started to wade back along the causeway to get back to his car but the water had risen by now and it pushed him off and he floated downstream. Some American tourists sitting on the riverbank saw what happened and started their video camera rolling. The man managed to get to the riverbank but as it was muddy and slippery was a bit slow to make his way out and that's when the croc burst out of the water, snapped his jaws around the man's head which tore off and submerged again, horrified witnesses saw the headless body floating downstream. There are reports that the man was so slow getting out of the water because he had his fishing gear in one hand and his beer in the other hand and , despite being aware of the croc, did not want to let go of either. The Yanks meanwhile had some great holiday memories on their video camera of which stills were splashed all over the frontpage of the local paper the Northern Territory News for the next week, they love it when things like this happen, sales go through to the roof.

Kakadu, Northern Territory, October 2002

crocodile in kakadu

German tourist Isabel von Jordon was killed by a 4.6 metre crocodile while swimming in Sandy Billabong in the Kakadu National Park on 22 October 2002. Together with her sister she had left Bali in a hurry after the bombing of the Sari club thinking she was going to be safer in Australia. The tourgroup that they were with had been drinking and it was late at night they felt like a swim to cool down. Their tourguide, Glenn Robless, went for a swim first and some time later declared it was OK to swim and the rest of the group of nine went in the water. One of the people in her group later told how he felt the 500 kg. crocodile brush past him and it snatched Isabel a second later. Her body was recovered 500 meters up river the following morning but as it was on the bottom and several other crocodiles were hanging around none of the rangers felt like going down there so they harpooned the body to pull it to the surface. The tourguide had to face the court but somehow got let off with a suspended sentence., though later he had to face another inquest that found his actions were inexplicable, inexcusable and grossly negligent. The court also heard that another group was preparing to go for a swim as the attack happened. Local rangers and an Aboriginal elder said they had never heard of anyone swimming in SAndy Billabong before. Over 22 years, about 3.5 million people have visited Kakadu and over the last 17 years only one local and one tourist had been killed by a crocodile.

Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus)., Kakadu NP, Australia
Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus)., Kakadu NP, Australia
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Kakadu, Northern Territory, September 14, 2003

A ten year old girl at Patonga outstation (small remote Aboriginal community) near Jabiru in Kakadu National Park was playing in a billabong by herself when a small crocodile attacked her. The reptile bit her leg but she managed to fight it off, alert her family who was nearby ,and after initial treatment in Jabiru was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital.

Kakadu, Northern Territory, April 2004

A man was fishing on the South Alligator River in Kakadu and had just caught a nice 70cm. barramundi when a 4 metre saltwater crocodile leapt out of the water and grabbed his net, they had a tug of war for a while but then the fisherman let go.
Two wildlife rangers were called to the scene and later spotted the croc chomping away at the net in his mouth. They later followed him downstream and harpooned him, he trashed about and suddenly went straight to the bottom, a post-mortem later revealed the croc had drowned, most likely because of the net blocking his airway.

Kimberleys, Western Australia, September 2000

12 Year old Sam West was swimming in the Kimberleys about 20m from shore when suddenly he found his head inside the jaws of a three metre saltwater crocodile. He gouged the crocodile's eyes and the crocodile let go and then gripped him again and again, a total of four or five times, causing multiple injuries to the boy. When his father got him back on the fishing trawler he sent out a distress call on the radio that was picked up by a passing plane that landed and flew him to Darwin, about 600km. away, for treatment at the hospital.

Kimberleys, April 2012

Tara Hawkes, 23, was swimming from the charter boat True North in Dugong Bay in the Kimberleys when a two metre long crocodile latched on to her legs.
Fortunately she was only metres away from the boat and a passenger pulled her to safety, she had puncture wounds and lacerations to both her legs and she was flown to Derby hospital by the boat's helicopter.

King's Cascade waterfall, 1987

At this very remote waterfall in the Kimberleys in northern W.A. American model Ginger Meadows took a swim and was killed and partly eaten by a crocodile at the foot of King's Cascade waterfall on the Prince Regent River in 1987.

Port Douglas, North Queensland, October 2001four mile beach in port douglas

Eight year old Aussie girl Taleesha Fagatilli was playing in shallow water at Port Douglas' Four Mile Beach when a salt water crocodile latched on to her and dragged her into deeper water. For unknown reasons the crocodile let go and she swam back to shore and was taken to hospital to treat bites to leg, chest and arm. This attack was highly unusual as crocs do not normally attack in the ocean.

Port Douglas, North Queensland, June 2004

Early June a dog was taken by a three metre saltwater crocodile in a lake in Reef Park, a suburb of Port Douglas in North Queensland. Residents say the croc has lived in their suburb for years but is now growing to a size that he might change his diet from dogs to children, the local primary school is warning their students to stay away from the lake.
In April 2009 a resident of Lake Estate was walking her dog and found a three metre crocodile parading up and down the lake with a smaller one in its jaws, in the middle of town these two crocodiles had gotten in to a territorial dispute and the bigger one of the two had ripped the head off the smaller rival. Rangers set traps to try and catch the croc to relocate it as it was thought to be too dangerous to leave the croc there in the middle of town where children could be playing near the lake.

Weipa, North Queensland

32-years old Peter Reimers was killed by a crocodile at Weipa in North-Queens land in a characteristic encounter.
Close to the bank tracks were found of a large crocodile that was lying there and probably slid into the water silently as soon as it heard the man approaching. As soon as Reimers waded through the water he was seized and killed by the crocodile.

Weipa, September 2005

When fishermen on the Mission Rover, just north of Weipa, caught a 1.2 metre bull shark they decided to throw it back. But it was not the shark's lucky day as a 3.5 metre croc burst out of the muddy water and had him for dinner. The fishermen managed to get some good photos of it too.

Weipa, February 2011

37 Year old Weipa miner Eddie Sigai and his family were swimming at a waterhole in Beening Creek near Weipa in north Queensland and having a great time for about three hours when things suddenly changed.
A three metre crocodile suddenly brushed past his daughters, came out of the water and attacked Eddie latching on to his left hand.
In a flash he remembered a documentary he had seen once where a man survived a crocodile attack by gouging the eyes of the animal, so he started punching, kicking, grabbing and shaking the animal while trying to get his fingers in the crocodile's eyes.
12 Year old daughter Monica later said she had felt helpless and completely terrified when she felt the crocodile's tail brush past her while it was on its way to attack her father and 17 year old Jennifer had also felt the croc brush past and actually put her hands on its back.
The crocodile might have wanted to defend its territory as it could have more easily taken one of the girls in the water but it came out to attack the father, who had been swimming in this place for most of his life without a problem.
Eddie said too he thought he was gone at one point but that the safety of his children gave him the strength to fight the croc.
When the croc let him go he yelled at his daughters to get out of the water and threw the youngest one on the bank.
With his injuries he was unable to drive so Jennifer took the wheel and drove to Weipa Hospital to deliver her father who was bleeding badly. He spent a few days there and survived to tell the tale with scratch marks on his back and bite marks on his hand.

Weipa, March 2011

Weipa fisherman Todd Bairstow who works at the Rio Tinto bauxite mine in Weipa was fishing at his favourite fishing spot.
The fishing spot is on Trunding Creek near the Albatross Hotel and is locally known as Jurassic Park, and indeed did he meet a creature from the dinosaur age....
While he was fishing from the banks of the creek suddenly a huge four metre crocodile burst out of the water and got a good hold of him. The croc tried to drag him underwater to kill him with the death roll but Todd held on to the mangroves and did not want to let go.
He spent 15 minutes clinging on to the mangroves, punching the croc, and calling for help, and when locals finally heard his calls they came to his aid, whacked the croc with a tree branch and dragged him to safety. The Royal Flying Doctors then flew him to the hospital in Cairns by the Royal Flying Doctor Service a broken leg, dislocated joints and various lacerations and cuts.


One of the most famous crocodiles in Australia's history is Sweetheart. Between September 1978 and July 1979 there was a string of attacks on small aluminium fishing boats in the Finniss River, Northern Territory when a 5.1 metre male crocodile got into the ( for crocs unusual) habit of biting outboard motors and attacking and overturning boats. He never actually killed anyone but still the The N.T.Parks and Wildlife Commission took action and caught him in july 1979 but the croc died soon after, it is common for crocs that in trying to evade capture they exhaust themselves to the point where they do not recover. His body has been preserved and can now be seen at the Northern Territory Museum and Art Galleries of the N.T. in Fannie Bay, Darwin.

Normanton 1958

Legend has it that in the Normanton river, several kilometres from the town of Normanton, NW Queensland, there was a ginormous croc. Krystina Pawloski, a woman of small build but handy with the gun, shot a crocodile measuring around nine metres in the Norman River in July 1958. There is an awesome replica in the main street of Normanton which the locals swear is true to size, reportedly the actual skin was used for this statue as a 'mould' to make sure of correct size and proportions, the skin is still kept in Townsville, north Queensland.

big crocodile picture
Photo by Rob Lapaer of Rainforest Hideaway B&B, Cape Tribulation, N.Qld.

Crocodile attack movies:

This movie is not shot in Australia but is an awesome movie showing the hunting techniques of the crocodile;

And these two movies show some crocodile attacks where some idiots were asking for it, the bottom movie shows the death roll technique very well;


Overseas crocodile attacks:

Congo: A crocodile will usually only kill one person but in October 2010 in Congo one single crocodile, and not even a huge one, killed 20 people in one hit!
A plane was en route from Kinshasa to Bandundu and one of the passengers had the crocodile in a large sports bag with him, but just before the landing the crocodile managed to escape from the bag and got loose running amok on the plane.
Scared passengers all ran away from the crocodile towards the cockpit, causing the plane to lose its balance, and it missed the runway and crashed in to a house near the airport, only one passenger survived.
The crocodile also survived but was macheted to death after the crash to give rescuers access to the bodies.

Czech republic ; A pet crocodile caused public consternation in Prague in august 2003 after it flung itself from a second-floor balcony and went for an unsupervised walk around the Czech capital.

The reptile, measuring around 1.5 metres (five feet), launched its daring bid for freedom while its owner slept, and was discovered soon afterwards by a woman who had gone out to feed local stray cats in downtown Prague.

The crocodile was later recaptured without incident and returned to its owner, who faced a substantial fine.

Malaysia : A 42 year old company director is sueing A Famosa Golf Resort because a five metre crocodile grabbed his leg and tried to pull him into a pond as he played the 7th hole. The injured man, Terry Hong Kee Siong, needed 38 stitches to his leg.

Note from the webmaster: five metres? I doubt it, there is no way he would have been able to survive that!

Taiwan, July 2007: 38 year old veterinarean Chang Po-Yu was working at the Shou Shan Zoo in Kaohsinung on 5.5 meter long crocodile Chu-Chu. The poor croc had not eaten for six months and so the vet thought he'd treat the croc for its loss of appetite. After a sedation shot Chang put his hand inside the croc's mouth to find what was wrong with him but unfortunately the croc woke up, had a very sudden appetite, and bit Chang's arm off at the elbow. While Chang was taken to hospital zoo staff and police spent over half an hour convincing the hungry croc to not eat the arm and give it back to them, in the end a few bullets fired at the croc's head (that bounced off) finally made him surrender the arm, which was rushed to hospital and re-attached in a six hour operation.

crocodile attack


Do you know of (or have survived) a crocodile attack? Then contact us!

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