An Australian man has survived a crocodile attack after he managed to prise the predator’s jaws off his head.
Marcus McGowan, 51, was snorkelling with a group of friends off Haggerstone Island, near Cape York, Queensland, on Sunday when he was bitten on the head from behind.
“I thought it was a shark at first, but then I realised it was a crocodile,” Mr McGowan told the BBC. “I was able to lever its jaws open just far enough to get my head out.”
Mr McGowan suffered lacerations to his head and hand in the attack, but he was able to swim to shore and was taken to hospital by helicopter.
He is now recovering in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
The attack is a reminder of the dangers posed by crocodiles in Australia. There are an estimated 200,000 saltwater crocodiles in the country, and they are responsible for an average of two deaths each year.
Experts say that the best way to avoid being attacked by a crocodile is to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid swimming in areas where crocodiles are known to live.
If you do see a crocodile, do not approach it and do not try to feed it. Instead, back away slowly and calmly.
If you are attacked by a crocodile, try to fight back as hard as you can. Hit the crocodile in the eyes, nose, or snout. If you can, try to pry its jaws open.
If you are able to escape, get to safety and call for help immediately.