Crocodile Attacks 'Out of Nowhere' After Teen Jumps Into Sea to Rescue Turtle

A teenager jumped into the ocean to save a turtle that was struggling—and managed to escape unscathed after a crocodile attacked and ate the animal.

Coree Summerville had been fishing at The Strand Pier in Townsville in Queensland, Australia, on Saturday, the Townsville Bulletin reported.

The 15-year-old jumped into the water to help a turtle after he noticed it was belly up and struggling.

But moments after Summerville hit the water and grabbed the turtle, a crocodile struck. The crocodile—which the teenager estimates was more than 6 feet long—ate half of the turtle before leaving.

"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," Summerville told the Bulletin. "The croc probably heard me jump in when I tried to save the turtle."

Summerville added that he had been fishing when he noticed something floating in the water. He waited for it to come to the shore and around 20 minutes later when it did, he realized it was a turtle.

"I've gone down the beach and that's when I noticed it was a turtle struggling to swim on its back," he told 7News.

"I've jumped in the water and flipped it over and just tried to help it swim off," he said, adding that was the moment the crocodile appeared and snatched the turtle out of his hands.

Describing hearing a "big crunch" as the crocodile grabbed the turtle from him, Summerville said: "I was scared, thinking that if it missed the turtle it probably could have got me."

Summerville said he handed the remains of the turtle over to authorities. He told the Bulletin that he had noticed a "dark shape" in the water earlier that day and thought it may have been a shark, but it turned out to be the crocodile.

The incident prompted swimming enclosures on The Strand esplanade to be closed off, the Bulletin reported.

Wildlife officers from Queensland's Department of Environment and Science (DES) have set a trap to capture a crocodile that is believed to be the same one that Summerville encountered, a department spokesman told Newsweek.

The trap was set near the end of a rock wall in an area near the Townsville Marina known as the "duck pond" after a crocodile was reported swimming there early Monday morning.

The spokesman said the crocodile, estimated to be around 10 feet long, has been targeted for removal from the wild and is thought to be the same one that took a turtle on Saturday.

The trap is baited and is specifically designed to attract saltwater crocodiles and people are urged to stay well away from the trap to avoid placing themselves in danger and to maximise the chances of the animal being captured.

People who deliberately interfere with the operation of crocodile traps face a maximum penalty of more than $10,000 ($15,000AUD).

Queensland trap
Wildlife officers set a trap for a crocodile after it grabbed a turtle out of a teenager's hands in Townsville in Queensland, Australia. Queensland Department of Environment and Science