Lee De Paauw jumped into crocodile-infested Johnstone River in northern Australia to impress a British backpacker. He is now recovering in hospital after suffering serious injuries to his left arm after a croc decided to impress him.

De Paauw was grabbed almost immediately by the crocodile.
De Paauw was grabbed almost immediately by the crocodile. (TRT World and Agencies)

Australian teenager Lee De Paauw was bitten by a crocodile when he jumped into the Johnstone River at Innisfail in northern Queensland state early Sunday morning. The stunt was an attempt to impress British backpacker, Sophie Paterson.

Within moments of hitting the water, a saltwater crocodile latched onto his arm.

De Paauw, 18, punched the croc in the head, and it let go. He was probably lucky to escape with only two broken bones and stitches. The croc apparently has a headache, and is nursing it at the local watering hole.

According to local media, De Paauw told Paterson that backpackers were more likely to get eaten by crocodiles than Australians, and decided to prove his theory.

Obviously vying for a Darwin Award, he jumped in to impress "that beautiful backpacker."

"She's really good looking and [had] been kind to me the night before."

But Paterson, 24, told Channel Seven she was not impressed by the gesture.

"I would have to be quite twisted to be impressed by that. I think risking your life – there is nothing funny about that. In all honesty it was a really horrific experience."

De Paaw said what he did was
De Paaw said what he did was "stupidity." (Reuters)

Paterson said she had no plans to visit De Paauw in hospital. Media are disputing whether she wants to go on a date when he gets out.

Australia is home to freshwater and saltwater crocodiles with the more feared "salties" growing up to seven metres long.

Saltwater crocodiles are common in the country's north where numbers have increased since the introduction of protection laws in 1971.

They kill an average of two people each year in Australia. Usually the people involved don't invite it deliberately.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies