‘Too big to handle’: Queensland man survives crocodile attack by prising jaws off his head

A Queensland man who managed to survive a crocodile attack by prying the jaws of the reptile off his head states that he was purely unfortunate to be in the incorrect location at an unfavorable time.

On Saturday, Marcus McGowan, 51, was snorkeling near the Charles Hardy Islands, approximately 40 km off the coast of Cape York, with his friends and wife when he was attacked.

Initially, the Gold Coast resident was taken by the saltwater crocodile from behind as he reached up with his hands, mistaking it for a shark.

McGowan stated in a statement issued by the Cairns health service, ‘I managed to pry its jaws open just enough to free my head. I came to the realization that it was indeed a crocodile.’

After the boat arrived, we heard screams for help, and I was able to swim to safety. I managed to push away the crocodile with my right hand, which had bitten me. However, the crocodile then attempted to attack me again.

After sustaining scalp lacerations and puncture wounds, he was subsequently transferred to Cairns hospital. Prior to being flown to Haggerstone Island, which is located 45 minutes away, the avid surfer and diver was initially taken by boat from Thursday Island hospital. According to McGowan, the crocodile was estimated to be a juvenile measuring 2-3 meters in length.

McGowan expressed, “During an inopportune moment, I found myself in an unfavorable location.” McGowan mentioned, “For instance, creatures like sharks and crocodiles, which can pose a threat, inhabit the area you are venturing into when you enter the marine ecosystem.”

Billy Collett, the operations manager at Australia Reptile Park, stated that individuals who manage to evade crocodile assaults typically intimidate the reptiles.

He stated, “Crocodiles are the most formidable animal in terms of biting force on the planet.” “However, when individuals do retaliate, they appear to release their grip. The crocodile was likely frightened, thus recognizing that it had seized something too large to manage.”

The science department in Queensland is conducting an investigation.

“The department emphasized the significance of promptly reporting both crocodile sightings and crocodile incidents in their statement. Due to their ability to cover vast distances each day, locating crocodiles in the open ocean can pose challenges.”

The area encompassing Haggerstone Island is known as “croc country,” as mentioned by the department, while urging visitors to practice “crocwise behavior.”

The division stated that individuals who stand near the shoreline or venture through it while fishing were at a higher danger of being attacked, just like those in smaller watercrafts such as canoes and kayaks. It cautioned that crocodiles could inhabit any body of water, even in the absence of cautionary signs.

The incident on Saturday came after previous occurrences of crocodile assaults in the area this year.

His remains were discovered in two crocodiles. A 65-year-old man was fatally attacked while fishing in Lakefield National Park in Cape York. At Archer Point, a man in his 40s suffered severe injuries to his abdomen, leg, and head while fishing. In April, while sleeping on Newell Beach, a 65-year-old man’s foot was bitten.

In February, a crocodile measuring over 4 meters in length assaulted a man and devoured his canine to the south of Cooktown.