I work with big predators. I give them their space, I respect them, and I always keep in mind that they have the ability to kill me. As someone who studies predator behaviour, I’m glad I had to knowledge of what to do when a crocodile bit into my calf last night and dragged me.
What I did that possibly saved my leg: stayed calm. I tried not to move my leg as it dragged me so it wouldn’t clamp down harder. Crocodiles have an insanely impressive bite force and you guys have seen me: I’m tiny. It could easily break bone or take my leg off.
Wearing a neoprene suit most likely helped too, as it realised I was not intended prey. I DO NOT blame the crocodile or the crew for a second for what happened. It was just a series of unfortunate events that led to an accident that could have happened to anyone.
Big thanks to the medic on our crew who sprung into action and for the team who took care of me. They got me out of the water quickly, got me on oxygen (for possible bends) and ripped open my suit to inspect the damage. A mixture of bleach and water has kept the injuries clean.
Let me reiterate that I am 100% okay outside of the puncture wounds and, understandably, a bit shaken at the whole being dragged thing. The bite itself didn’t hurt- I liken it to that of an exploratory bite of a shark.
Read up on predators in your area and how to react to a possible bite. Have medical supplies with you. And above all: stay calm. Big thanks again to the team I’m with for all their help- and for keeping me laughing and smiling through the pain.
Oh, and can’t forget to say a big thanks to DAN insurance for answering the phone quickly when the medic rang them. Have had them since 2009 and never once used them- glad I had them yesterday.
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