A man has managed to prise a crocodile’s jaws from around his head when he was attacked near a luxury resort in Queensland, Australia.

Marcus McGowan was snorkelling about 17 miles (28km) off Haggerstone Island in Cape York when the reptile struck.

“While checking out some coral and fish and talking to a fellow snorkeller, I was attacked from behind by a saltwater crocodile which got its jaws around my head,” he said in a statement.

“I thought it was a shark but when I reached up, I realised it was a crocodile.

“I was able to lever its jaws open just far enough to get my head out.

“The crocodile then attempted to attack me a second time, but I managed to push it away with my right hand, which was then bitten by the croc.”

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Mr McGowan, 51, said he was able to swim back to the boat and was later flown by helicopter to Cairns for treatment of scalp injuries and puncture wounds.

“Crocodiles in the open ocean can be difficult to locate as the animals often travel tens of kilometres per day,” Queensland’s environmental department said.

Australian media said it was the fifth crocodile attack in the region in the past few months.

Crocodiles can be found in both freshwater and saltwater in Queensland, including rivers, swamps, oceans, and the offshore islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

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