Man found dead in suspected crocodile attack in Australia

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A man has been found dead after a suspected crocodile attack in Australia, authorities say.

The victim is believed to be a spear fisherman, 35, whose boat was found empty off Palmer Point, in Far North Queensland, on Saturday.

Queensland Police said an initial investigation suggested the man was killed by a crocodile.

On Sunday, an 18-year-old man survived a crocodile attack about 65km (40 miles) south at Innisfail.

Police investigating the man’s death said they had begun searching for a crocodile more than 4m long.

If a crocodile is confirmed to be responsible, it would be the ninth fatal attack in Queensland since 1985.

Authorities said a large crocodile made an aggressive rush towards a police boat on Sunday night.

“It appears that this animal may be responsible for the death of this man,” said Dr Matt Brien, from Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

“It’s not consistent with a wild crocodile. They tend to be fairly wary of people. It’s a behaviour that we have seen before in crocodiles that have attacked people.”

If found the reptile would be captured or killed, he said.

Teenager’s escape

In the incident at Innisfail, teenager Lee de Paauw was bitten on the arm by a crocodile after jumping into a river late at night.

He suffered lacerations and fractures before undergoing surgery in hospital.

“I hit it once on the nose [and] it loosened a bit,” Mr de Paauw told radio station Nova FM on Monday.

“I got another hit in and it was right on its eye. I was lucky because it just dropped me.”

Witnesses said Mr de Paauw went into the river as part of a dare.

“It all happened very fast, pretty much as soon as he jumped in, there was splashing and screaming,” Sophie Paterson, a British backpacker, told the Courier Mail.

Queensland paramedic Neil Noble said the teenager was lucky to be alive.

Man found dead in suspected crocodile attack in Australia}