A quick whack on the head was enough to free a 19-year-old Northern Territory man from the jaws of a giant crocodile that grabbed him he as he slept in a tent.

Peter Rowsell says he was dragged out of his tent at Dorisvale crossing, west of Katherine, by the croc after it latched on to his feet about 4.30am local time on Monday.

Doctors have since been treating him at Katherine Hospital for puncture wounds to both feet.

"I was sleeping in a mozzie net ... I woke up and there was something shaking my foot, and I woke up and had a look, and it was three to four metres long," Rowsell told ABC radio today.


The reptile only let go when Roswell hit it on the head "once or twice" with his hand.

Luckily, his sister had been sleeping in the back of a ute parked nearby and raced to him after hearing his screams.

The pair had been camping about 15m from a river.

Doctors say while Rowsell is unable to walk at the moment because of puncture wounds to both feet, he has been recovering well and was expected to be discharged today.

"I think considering everything he is doing quite well," Katherine Hospital's director of medical services Dr Louise Harwood told reporters.

"I think he could consider himself lucky. It may take a week or two before he's up on his feet." Harwood said while Rowsell had lost some blood due to the bite marks, his wounds had been fairly easy to treat with antibiotics.