The 16 foot-long Australian saltwater crocodile came within an arm’s length of inflicting serious damage to the tourist, if not killing him. Novon Mashiah, 27, an Israeli backpacker, spotted the big crocodile during a fishing trip in the Northern Territory.
Determined to have a picture taken of himself with the crocodile, he posed while leaning out of the back of his fishing boat, pointing towards the predator.
"I began playing with it for a photo,'' Mr Mashiah said. "I was pointing at it when it suddenly jumped up at me - I didn't realise that crocs were so aggressive.''
The "saltie" – which experts believe probably approached the boat in search of a free feed of fish – propelled itself out of the water with terrifying speed. After narrowly missing its prey, it smashed into the side of the small metal boat before plunging back into the water.
Saltwater Crocodile Attacks!
During the Japanese retreat in the Battle of Ramree Island on February 19, 1945, saltwater crocodile attacks may have been responsible for the deaths of 400 Japanese soldiers. British soldiers encircled the swampland through which the Japanese were retreating, resigning the Japanese to a night in the mangroves which was home to thousands of saltwater crocodiles. The Ramree saltwater crocodile attacks are listed under the heading "The Greatest Disaster Suffered from Animals" in The Guinness Book of Records.
March 2009: An eleven year old girl is taken by a large saltwater crocodile while swimming at Black Jungle Billabong near Darwin, in front of her friends. (The Black Jungle Reserve is accessible strictly by permit only. This is not a public swimming area or in any way monitored.) Her remains are found later on the river bank.
In April 2009 Twenty-year-old local man taken by a crocodile while swimming with his brother at night in the Daly River about 150km south of Darwin, Australia.
Most recently a Feb 2011 a boy 14, has been missing since he was attacked while playing in a creek, 400km east of Darwin. His three brothers saw a saltwater crocodile attack him.
Crocodile attacks on average, kill one person a year in Australia, in comparison three people a year die from bee stings, and thousands from smoking and car accidents so as long as you take some sensible precautions there is no need to worry a crocodile attack may ruin your Australian holiday.
Crocodile attacks occur between late September and January when crocodiles are hungry after the dry season and are preparing to breed, and most victims had been under the influence of alcohol, and swimming at times and in places that most sensible people would avoid.
Recent heavy rains in the north of Australia, has flooded water courses and brought the saltwater crocodiles into inland areas not normally known to have them.