News

Teen croc survivor had '10 cups of goon' before taking dare

THE teenager who was mauled by a crocodile while showing off to a girl has shrugged off his "haters" following his dramatic brush with death.

Lee De Paauw, 18, suffered serious injuries to his left arm when he was viciously attacked by a crocodile after he jumped into the Johnstone River in Innisfail on Saturday night.
 


As he recovered from surgery at the Cairns Hospital he told media the incident occurred because he wanted to "prove a point" to a young female backpacker he had just met.

"I started telling (her) about backpackers are more likely to get eaten by crocodiles than Australians so we decided to go down to the river and test the theory," he said.

Mr de Paauw said the crocodile immediately grabbed his arm and didn't let go when he punched it in the snout, only finally releasing him when he gouged it in the eye.

British backpacker Sophie Paterson saw the crocodile attack.
British backpacker Sophie Paterson saw the crocodile attack. Elisabeth Champion,

Mr De Paauw said he had consumed "about ten cups of goon" before jumping in the river but denied he was "one of the stupidest people around" simply replying "haters gonna hate".

Officers from the department of Environment and Heritage Protection have set a trap to capture the crocodile, which is believed to be about 3m long.

"I don't want that crocodile harmed, I want it released back into the wild and I want it to have a happy life," Mr De Paauw said.

 

EARLIER: A QUEENSLAND teenager who jumped into a crocodile-infested river went through with the "dare" to impress a female backpacker.

Lee De Paauw was mauled by a crocodile after leaping into a river at Innisfail on a so-called "dare" and was witnessed "screaming and splashing the second he hit the water".

 

Lee De Paauw has undergone surgery on his left arm.
Lee De Paauw has undergone surgery on his left arm. Supplied

 

De Paauw, 18, managed to escape the jaws of a crocodile, which was believed to be up to 3m long, by punching it in the head repeatedly as a female backpacker watched on, unable to help as the attack unfolded.

De Paauw has since revealed he accepted the dare to impress the young British backpacker.

"I just wanted to show the backpacker. I got her number and her name is Sophie," he told Nova FM's Fitzy and Wippa on Monday.

Mr De Paauw said he had jumped in the water and was swimming back to a jetty "when the croc grabbed my arm, dragged me back out and started rolling".

"It took me out about six metres from the wharf. I hit it once on the nose, it loosened a bit.

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

British backpacker Sophie Paterson, 24, said the local teenager jumped into the Johnstone River just after midnight yesterday after earlier bragging about being able to swim in the crocodile infested waters.

"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," she said.
 

 

Ms Paterson said she and her friends had met Mr De Paauw a few hours earlier over drinks at the local hostel where she was staying.

"He sort of made this claim 'I'll swim out and back', (and) at first we just said 'don't be so ridiculous' and didn't think he was going to go through with it,'' she said.

"It all happened very fast, pretty much as soon as he jumped in, there was splashing and screaming."

Lee de Paauw, 18, was dared to jump into the croc-infested river.
Lee de Paauw, 18, was dared to jump into the croc-infested river. AAP /Facebook

Ms Paterson said the teenager managed to pull himself from the water while she yelled at her friends to call an ambulance.

"There was blood everywhere and he just wouldn't stop screaming,'' she said.

"I thought he had lost his arm because of how bad it looked."

Paramedics rushed Mr De Paauw, who suffered lacerations and multiple fractures, to Innisfail Hospital where he was stabilised.

He was then taken to Cairns Hospital where he underwent surgery on his left arm. The surgery is understood to have been successful.

Ms Paterson said she arrived in Innisfail last Wednesday and while she was aware there were crocodiles had "no idea how ­serious it was".

"I know he's a local and probably knew the area better but I can't help but feel for him,'' she said.

The attack comes in the midst of renewed debate about a proposal to cull crocodile populations in northern Queensland.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said most locals would know not to jump into the Johnstone River.

"Most people have got common sense ... we can't legislate to protect dickheads, but we need to be protecting the community, public safety and our tourism reputation are priority," he said.

A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection spokesman confirmed the crocodile was being targeted for capture and removal.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  crocodile editors picks



Resident's run-in with wild dogs sparks investigations

A Boambee resident was confronted by three wild dogs outside her house.

Multi-agency reponse after incident.

A rock 'n' roll band with plenty of ability

THE RED HOTS: Drummer Marc, guitarist Gil Morgan, singer Renee, Scott on harmonica and bassist Rod. Absent: Ashlea on tambourine. Coffs Harbour, June 28, 2017.

Coffs band has a message to play loud and clear

What's for dinner Wednesday?

Need help in the kitchen?

What's cooking at your house tonight? Care to share?

Local Partners

Numbers add up for students

Eight of St John Paul College's finest mathematicians travelled by minibus to UNE Armidale to participate in the Year 8 Mathematics Day.


Challenge for cyclists of all levels and ages

This year's C.ex McDonald's Cycle Challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6. You can ride in the the 10km family ride, 20km, 40km, 60km, or the 100km challenge.

This year's cycle challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6.

New developments announced for Curryfest

TASTE TREATS: New developments for Curryfest 2017.

Fresh ideas and developments show no sign of slowing down.

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Game of Thrones: Crucial details you probably forgot

IT’S been a while since we’ve been to Westeros. But there are some crucial story points you need to remember before we head back there for season seven.

There's a bear in there

Big Ted and the gang are coming to town

July Bollywood Markets bring food and fun

FUN FAIR: The next Bollywood Beach Market is on July 1.

THE colour, the sights, the aromas, the joyful vibe.

Pregnant Serena Williams nude on cover of Vanity Fair

"My heart dropped. Like literally it dropped,”

Watch the game at Woopi C.ex

BARNSTORMING: Andrew Fifita of the NSW Blues.

Origin decider at C.ex Woolgoolga

Where is the newest property hotspot?

New apartment development being snapped up by locals.

Island caretaker has weeks to live, abandons paradise

St Bees managing director Phil Webb, has been struck with illness and it has prompted the sale of the island.

His health has deteriorated in the past couple of months

Prime CBD site sold as laneway culture progresses

The Longs building Ruthven Street has been purchased by a group of investors to be renovated into a series of shops/eateries.  June 2017

How investors and council plan to transform the Toowoomba CBD

House build hits the spot

Owner Libby Parish from Thora commissioned licensed builder Cormac McMullan, of Cormac & Co to build her a two bedroom, one bathroom house with a skillion roof.

Is this the answer to affordable housing on the Coffs Coast?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!