The terrifying moment a man in Far North Queensland was grabbed by a crocodile while on the banks of a remote river has been captured on camera.
The man who has since been identified as tourist Alistar MacPhee was standing with a dog in the shallows of Bloomfield boat ramp at Ayton, north of Cairns, at around 5.30pm on Wednesday when they were attacked.
In the horrifying footage captured by the 37-year-old man, and obtained by 7News, he can be seen standing in ankle deep water in Speedos or briefs before being dragged to the ground.
With the croc latching onto his right leg, Mr MacPhee is filmed fighting for his life, water spraying through the air, before he manages to break free. But by the time he gets back on his feet, the croc has grabbed the dog instead. The man uses his fists to punch the reptile in the back, before it retreats under the water with the canine.
Staggering back to shore with deep cuts, the bloodied tourist is spotted by a ranger who just happened to be in the area and called for help.
A series of photos reveal Mr MacPhee lying on the ground, wet and bloodied, with his lower leg wrapped in a makeshift bandage.
He was rushed to Wujal Wujal clinic for treatment before being airlifted to Cairns Hospital where he underwent surgery on Thursday afternoon and is now reported to be in a stable condition.
Man ‘very, very lucky’ to escape
Locals praised the man’s close encounter, saying it was fortunate he was able to escape with his life in the well-known croc infested waters.
“It’s a dangerous place, particularly at this time of year when the rivers are flooded and it’s warm and the crocs are more active,” Josh Patterson from the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation told Nine News.
According to authorities, the dog is still unaccounted for.
“This bloke was very, very lucky, but at the same time he’s lost what may have been his best mate so it’s very sad,” Cooktown Mayor Peter Scott told Nine. “It’s awfully tragic that he’s lost a dog who I think .. may have been trying to protect him too.”
Croc targeted for removal
Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science are now targeting the crocodile for removal in line with the government’s Crocodile Management Plan.
This is the first crocodile attack on a human in Queensland since November 2021, when a man was attacked at the McIvor River, 50 kilometres north of Cooktown.
The Department of Environment and Science says the incident is a “timely reminder for people to be 'crocwise' and not be complacent with their own safety or that of their family or pets when they are in or near the water”.
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