A Townsville teenager who jumped into the sea to save a struggling turtle has had the shock of his life after the struggling animal was eaten by a crocodile that crept up on them.
Coree Summerville, 15, escaped unscathed after his kind-hearted rescue attempt took a dramatic turn at The Strand pier on Townsville’s foreshore.
He’d been fishing there on Saturday when he noticed the turtle struggling and belly up in the water. He promptly leapt in to help it to shore.
What he didn’t realise was that a croc was watching. After the teen hit the water, the reptile struck, biting the turtle Coree was holding.
After eating half of it, the croc turned and swam out to sea.
“I went to save the turtle and I was pulling it in and then out of nowhere this two-metre croc came up and ate half of it,” Coree has told the Townsville Bulletin.
The young fisherman told the paper he’d seen a dark shape in the water earlier in the day, further off shore, and believed it may have been a shark.
“It turned out to be a croc,” he said.
“The croc probably heard me jump in when I tried to save the turtle.”
Swimming enclosures on The Strand esplanade were closed after the drama, with the croc to be targeted for removal – if authorities can find it.
Croc sightings are relatively common in the Townsville area with dozens reported last year.