Lee De Paauw, 18, suffered severe arm injuries after being grabbed by the reptile after entering the Johnstone River in Innisfail, Australia, at around 2.30am on Sunday.
The 18-year-old was reportedly grabbed by the crocodile as he tried to leave the water but managed to free himself by punching it on the head.
According to The Age, the teenager jumped into the crocodile’s mouth.
British backpacker Sophie Paterson, 24, saw the incident unfold.
She told the Mirror: ‘He was talking about the local creek saying ‘I can swim out’ and so we said, ‘go on then’, but we didn’t think he would do it.
‘He sort of made this claim “I’ll swim out and back”, at first we just said “don’t be so ridiculous” and didn’t think he was going to go through with it.’
Mr De Paauw was taken to hospital in Cairns where he had surgery for significant injuries and is now in a stable condition.
Cairns Senior Operations Supervisor Rita Kelly said the crocodile was not seen before the incident.
She told the Mail Online: ‘We’re not exactly sure why he went into the water,’
‘His arm is still intact, which is very fortunate.’
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