Australian Man Survives Saltwater Crocodile Attack By Prying Its Jaws Off His Head

crocodile nature
Reinhard Dirscherlullstein bild via Getty Images

A man from “down under” is lucky to still be alive to tell the tale after he was viciously attacked by a saltwater crocodile.

51-year-old Marcus McGowan was attacked by the croc while he was snorkeling this past Saturday in Queensland, which is a state in Australia (did you know Australia had states?).

McGowan had spent the morning out fishing with family and friends and then decided to set anchor near the Charles Hardy Islands. They planned to stop for lunch and a quick snorkel in the clear waters just off the Cape York Coast.

That decision ended up being life threatening and almost changed the group’s lives forever.

McGowan said in a medical release statement:

“I was snorkeling with my wife and a group of friends and while checking out some coral and fish and talking to a fellow snorkeler, I was attacked from behind by a saltwater crocodile which got its jaws around my head.”

What started out as a very relaxing snorkeling session turned into a living nightmare. Not only was McGowan attacked, but it appears that it was somewhat of a sneak attack by the saltwater croc, and he never even saw it coming.

McGowan continues:

“I thought it was a shark but when I reached up I realized it was a crocodile. I was able to lever its jaws open just far enough to get my head out.

The crocodile then attempted to attack me a second time, but I managed to push it away with my right hand, which was then bitten by the croc.”

What would have been worse? A crocodile or a shark?

Considering that McGowan ended up making it out alive, I guess the answer would be the shark. However, both of them aren’t great options to have.

And shoutout to the 51-year-old for somehow managing to stay cool and pry the jaws of the crocodile open. They say the human body is capable of way more than it usually performs, and it looks like the adrenaline that kicked in helped McGowan utilize his own personal “jaws of life.”

Even though he was badly injured, the Queensland man was able to work his way back to the boat:

“I was able to escape the crocodile’s grip once again and swim to the safety of the boat which was coming after they heard our screams for help.

As this incident occurred so suddenly, I was unable to estimate the crocodile’s exact size, but believe it may have been a juvenile.”

Those on the boat pulled up McGowan and began to rush him to the nearest hospital, which ended up being 45 minutes away on Haggerstone Island (I know the names of these places probably mean nothing to you).

Someone that had been snorkeling with the croc attack survivor happened to have some first aid experience and helped care to “tough as nails” Australian as they traveled.

McGowan explained:

“He is a fireman so he knew what he was doing. He bandaged me up and also had to give me antibiotic shots to prevent any infection.”

Once they arrived, an emergency helicopter transported McGowan to Thursday Island Hospital for treatment.

Amazingly, after being assessed, he was taken to another hospital for further analysis and only suffered from a scalp laceration and puncture wounds to his head and hand, all of which he was successfully treated for.

McGowan somehow had a very understanding attitude about the entire incident, saying:

“I live on the Gold Coast and am a keen surfer and diver, and understand that when you enter the marine environment, you are entering territory that belongs to potentially dangerous animals, such as sharks and crocodiles.

I was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time.”

9 News Australia covered the story on their newscast, citing that this was the fifth crocodile attack in the last two months in Queensland, Australia:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock