Croc in tug-of-war for hostess

Tara Hawkes (front) was lucky to escape serious injury in the surprise attack. Photo / Supplied
Tara Hawkes (front) was lucky to escape serious injury in the surprise attack. Photo / Supplied

A luxury cruise hostess was pulled from the jaws of a 2m crocodile in Australia by passengers in a life-and-death tug of war.

Tara Hawkes, 23, was grabbed from behind after disembarking from the luxury vessel True North in shallow waters in Talbot Bay, Kimberley, Western Australia.

Several passengers grabbed on to Ms Hawkes in an attempt to free her from the crocodile's jaws, engaging in a tug-of-war.

They managed to drag her free from the death grip of the two-metre crocodile and drag her safely to shore.

She received several wounds to her hips and legs in the attack, but was lucky to escape serious injury and has since been discharged from hospital.

Yesterday, Peter Trembath, the vessel's operator, said Ms Hawkes' injuries were not serious and only required cleaning and stitches.

"We're pleased she's been discharged and we're expecting her to make a speedy recovery.

"She loves her job and loves what she does, and I expect she'll be back at work as soon as she can."

Mr Trembath said crew members had checked the crystal-clear pool and seen no crocs, but obviously one was there.

"As Tara was getting out of the water it latched on to her leg, but fortunately it wasn't a very big animal."

Mr Trembath said the animal might have been a big freshwater croc or a small saltwater one.

"Freshies don't normally bite unless you step on them or if you corner them, which could have happened as she stepped out of the water."

In a separate incident, a 2m crocodile was reported to have attacked a car north of Mackay in Queensland.

Environment department officials said the reptile's lunge at the vehicle was likely a "defensive action".

He said authorities did respond to the report, but police had advised that the croc returned to a creek of its own accord. Authorities said they did not believe the reptile posed an ongoing threat.

The driver of the car was not injured.

- AAP

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