Lee De Paauw, 18,
had met Sophie Paterson while drinking at with a group of
friends into the early hours of Sunday morning at a backpackers'
hostel in Innisfail in northern Queensland.
According to local media, De Paauw told Paterson that
backpackers were more likely to get eaten by crocodiles than
Australians, and was ready to back up his words.
Accepting a dare to jump from the wharf into the
crocodile-infested Johnstone River, he was grabbed almost
immediately by a crocodile.
"At that point, I punched it in the snout", De Paauw said from
his hospital bed in Cairns. "My second hit, I got it straight in
the eye, and then it let go."
De Paauw suffered serious injuries to his left arm and underwent
surgery at Cairns Hospital.
"I think he's very brave to be, you know, in such high spirits
after what happened," said Paterson, who said she has agreed to
go on a date with De Paauw.
"She's beautiful, caring and kind," said De Paauw.
Asked to account for his own actions, De Paauw was under no
"Stupidity," De Paauw said, "You know there's crocs there."
(Reporting by Reuters Television, Writing by Karishma Singh;
Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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