Teenager Jumped Into Crocodile Infested River To Impress Girl


How far would you go to impress a woman?

Would you buy her a drink? Throw out some cheesy pick-up lines? Pretend you’re a celebrity? Or maybe you’d jump into man-eating crocodile infested waters to get her number.

Some guy named Lee De Paauw did, and it didn’t end well.

The 18-year-old was at a hostel in the northern Queensland town of Innisfail when he started bragging to friends that he could swim in the croc-filled Johnstone River in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Dared by friends and trying to impress a British backpacker, he went for it.


Sophie Paterson, who the teenager was trying to impress, told Queensland’s Courier-Mail newspaper:

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.

She told 9News: “I’ve never heard a guy scream like that. There was a lot of blood, a lot of bone.”

She and the others dared him to jump in but didn’t think he would do it, she said.


The 18-year-old was dragged six metres by the crocodile after it grabbed his left arm but Lee managed to escape its jaws by punching the animal in the eye.

He was taken to Innisfail District Hospital where he was stabilised, before being taken to Cairns Hospital for surgery.

Queensland Ambulance Service Cairns spokesman Neil Noble said:

It’s very fortunate that he survived this incident and was able to be rescued.

Wikimedia/Alias 0591

De Pauww claims he ‘didn’t know there was a crocodile’ in the river, saying: “I just done it for Sophie.”

In an interview with 9News, he admitted he was smitten with the backpacker and called her ‘beautiful, caring and kind’.

Asked whether he was embarrassed by the accident, he said he ‘wasn’t concerned’.

“I’m not really…I’m just, I don’t know, trying to prove a point,” he added.


Unfortuntely for De Pauuw though, it seems that his idiotic actions won’t have a pay off after all.

Speaking to the Fitzy & Wippa radio show, Paterson said the Australian was ‘too young’ for her and added: “Being attacked by animals doesn’t really do it for me.”

Alternate reports say the 18-year-old has bagged a date to the movies with her once he’s released from hospital.

What a ridiculous incident.