A TEEN who almost had his armed ripped off by a crocodile was trying to impress a a Brit backpacker who snubbed him for a date.
Lee De Paauw screamed for help after the 10ft-long beast tore into him by locking its sharp teeth onto his left arm.
The 18-year-old only managed to escape when he repeatedly punched the crocodile using his right arm during the attack in the Johnstone River in Queensland, Australia.
Brit backpacker Sophie Paterson, from Yeovil, Somerset, was having drinks with with Lee in the early hours of Sunday morning when she dared him to jump in the river.
Sophie later told Aussie radio show Fitzy and Wippa: “He’s too young for me.
“Being attacked by animals doesn’t really do it for me.”
The radio host suggested she should visit them teen in hospital but she suggested she wouldn’t.
Sophie had earlier told the Courier Mail that Lee had “bragged” of how he could swim in the water over drinks at a nearby hostel.
She said: “He was talking about the local creek saying “I can swim out” and so we said, “go on then”, but we didn’t think he would do it,’ she said.
“He sort of made this claim “I’ll swim out and back”.
“At first we just said “don’t be so ridiculous” and didn’t think he was going to go through with it.”
Reflecting on the attack, she said: “It all happened very fast, pretty much as soon as he jumped in, there was splashing and screaming.”
“There was blood everywhere and he just wouldn’t stop screaming.”
Lee later told how he had jumped in the water and was swimming back to a jetty “when the croc grabbed my arm, dragged me back out and started rolling”.
He told the station: “Being dared, I jumped off the jetty and I was swimming back around to the stairs to get out.
“It took me out about six metres from the wharf. I hit it once on the nose, it loosened a bit.
“I got another hit in and it was right on its eye. I was lucky because it just dropped me.”
“I was about to pull myself back up when the croc grabbed my arm and dragged me back out and started rolling me.
“I hit it in the nose and it loosened its grip. I got another hit in and it was right in its eye. It dropped me then.”
He was rushed to hospital and underwent an emergency operation to save his arm but is now believed to be making a full recovery.
A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection spokesman confirmed the crocodile was being targeted for capture and removal.
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