Australian Man Escapes Injury After a Crocodile Jumps Into His Boat on New Year's Eve


Jan. 4 2024, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

A crocodile showing its teeth.
Source: Getty Images

The northwest region of Queensland, Australia, is often called “Croc Country” for the many crocodiles living in the waterways there. According to the Queensland government, the apex predators can be in freshwater and saltwater rivers, creeks, swamps, lakes, and other bodies of water.

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When boating or fishing in Croc Country, people are warned to keep their arms and legs inside the vessel to protect themselves from losing a limb or their life to a crocodile. But that advice didn’t help a fisherman when a crocodile jumped into his boat. Here’s the tea on this scary encounter.

Two crocodiles in the water.
Source: Getty Images
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A crocodile jumped into an Australian man's boat on New Year's Eve.

Queensland resident Richard Brookman, 45, had been fishing on Jane Creek for about four hours on New Year’s Eve when he got an “eerie feeling that something was watching me,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC).

"I turned the headlight on and had to look up the creek, and there's these eyes coming straight for me," he told ABC. He said he didn't realize how big the animal was until it got closer. The crocodile was about 13 feet long, and Brookman's boat was about 10 feet long.

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A crocodile's eyes in the water.
Source: Getty Images

At first, the big crocodile swam under the boat, giving Brookman time to get to the back of the boat and start the engine. But then the reptile quickly changed direction and “launched itself up and into the vessel with its jaws wide open,” stated a press release issued by the Queensland Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI).

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Although the engine was running, the boat was still anchored in place, so Brookman had to “jump the crocodile” to get to the anchor and hoist it up, stated DESI.

The crocodile jumped off the boat, and luckily, Richard Brookman was okay.

The situation looked pretty dire, but thankfully the giant croc pivoted and fell out of the boat. The boat was damaged, but Brookman wasn’t hurt in the altercation.

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"It was just sort of sheer luck then that he slid out. I think my [late] grandfather was looking after me," Brookman told ABC. He is concerned that other people may not be as lucky if they come in contact with the same crocodile.

"It is a dangerous big animal, and the only thing I can think of is if you've got a couple of kids in the boat — he's not scared of humans, he's not scared of boats and he could take anyone out," he told ABC.

The DESI said it would post crocodile sighing warning signs in the area and search to find the animal so it could assess whether it was a danger to public safety. “If it is assessed as a problem crocodile, it will be targeted for removal from the wild,” the DESI concluded.

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