A man has sustained lacerations to his head, face, shoulder and hands after a crocodile clamped its jaws around his skull while he was swimming near a major northern Queensland city.
The attack occurred around 12.40pm on Thursday about 11km northwest of Cairns CBD off Lake Placid Rd at Caravonica.
The 44-year-old victim was able to swim to the bank to get help, said critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney who attended the scene.
The victim was rushed to Cairns Base Hospital and Sweeney said the crocodile had clearly wrapped his jaws around the man's head.
"The gentleman was conscious and alert and thankfully the injuries … weren't serious," Sweeney said.
"There was definite evidence of puncture wounds through his scalp, to the right side of his head.
"There were additional puncture wounds to the left … cheekbone, jaw … corresponding to a bite. The animal has bitten the top of his head with his jaws either side [of his head]."
He said the man also sustained wounds to his right shoulder and finger on his left hand.
"The gentlemen explained he was swimming … and suddenly felt this impact, clasp on the top of his head, which he recognised to be a crocodile," Sweeney said.
"He put his hands into his jaws to prise them off his head and it let go and the jaw snapped shut on his left forefinger.
"There was minimal blood loss. No breaks or fractures to the skull.
"He was a fit individual and grateful that it was not as serious as it could have been."
Sweeney said the man took a "slow swim" back to the bank to get help but feared he would be attacked again.
"He was concerned that the animal would attack him again," he said.
"He is a very lucky man. It could have been worse."