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Saltwater crocodile attacks man swimming on Great Barrier Reef

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A man has been bitten on the head by a saltwater crocodile while snorkelling in Far North Queensland.

The 33-year-old man was attacked by the 2m saltie while he was in deep water at Anchor Bay on Lizard Island near the Great Barrier Reef on Wednesday afternoon.

The ABC reported the man was about 50m from the shore when the attack happened.

He was flown by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Cairns Hospital with injuries to his head and neck but is expected to make a full recovery.

In a statement, Delaware North, which operates Lizard Island Resort, described the incident as “rare”.

“Lizard Island Resort management received notification that an individual swimming on one of the island beaches had received a bite from a suspected crocodile, resulting in wounds to the upper body area,” the statement said, according to the ABC.

“Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers have been notified of the incident and are in direct contact with the resort management.

“We view this incident as an extremely isolated and rare occurrence, and emphasise that the current safety messaging provided to all guests and the resort staff are consistent with Queensland Parks and Wildlife’s advice.”

Wildlife officers are expected to travel to Lizard Island today to search for the crocodile, which will be removed if found.

The island is currently closed due to COVID-19 and is set to reopen on December 14.

Local tour operator Brett Wright told the Cairns Post the attack was surprising, but not completely unexpected.

“Anchor Bay is right in front of the resort. That is the resort bay. There is a lot of water sports activity around that area and I’m surprised it has happened, but they (crocodiles) are around,” he said.

“If a croc was going to come out at Anchor Bay it would probably be the first point of contact between a crocodile and a snorkeller.

“My philosophy is, the more remote places you have guests, the more vigilant you have to be.”

In July, a woman was bitten by a shark in the Great Barrier Reef while making a shark documentary off Fitzroy Beach near Cairns.



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