A Cairns man has told of his harrowing encounter with a crocodile that had clamped down on his head as he swam at a local lake last week.
Mark Ridge managed to prise the 2.5 metre reptile’s jaws off of his skull and lived to show off his injuries, which includes lacerations on his arms, shoulder and neck as well as a “few holes” in his head.
The 56-year-old freed himself from the beast on Thursday about 11km northwest of Cairns’ CBD at Lake Placid and then swam 400m to shore as the crocodile roamed free in the water.
“It’s been a bit out of the normal – it’s not every day you get chewed on,” Mr Ridge told Channel 7 with a wry smile, cheekily playing down the terrifying encounter.
“You’re only got two weapons and that’s your hands. So you do what you have to do.”
Authorities have been unable to trap the crocodile and Mr Ridge wants revenge for the encounter with his new foe.
“I don’t want them to catch it, I just want them to shoot it — it’s a menace,” he said, revealing he won’t be entering the water again anytime soon.
“The first time I’ve had a bump-in with a crocodile, so hopefully it’s the last.”
On Thursday, critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney detailed Mr Ridge’s injuries sustained during the tussle with the beast.
“The gentlemen explained he was swimming … and suddenly felt this impact, clasp on the top of his head, which he recognised to be a crocodile,” he said.
“He put his hands into his jaws to prise them off his head and it let go and the jaw snapped shut on his left forefinger.
“There was minimal blood loss. No breaks or fractures to the skull.
“He was a fit individual and grateful that it was not as serious as it could have been.”