A man has described the terrifying moment a crocodile clamped its jaws around his head and dragged him into a terrifying ‘death roll’
Joshua Young managed to fight off the 10ft beast but was left with life threatening injuries after the attack.
The 28-year-old had been spearfishing in a popular tourist snorkelling spot down the road from his home on the island of Caye Caulker in Belize, when the crocodile attacked, pulling him into a terrifying death roll.
Joshua was swimming under water searching for fish when he felt what he thought was a canoe brush past his body before the beast suddenly latched onto his head with its jaws.
The bartender says he managed to swim to the shore with the predator still clamped to his head and pried his head out of the croc’s mouth.
The reptile let go of Joshua’s head and bit down onto his hand before tearing off Joshua’s wetsuit in one last attempt to get him back into the water. Luckily, Joshua managed to escape and get medical help.
But the ferocious attack, which happened on April 8, left him with life threatening injuries, including lacerations to the head, nine fractured fingers and his heart stopped during surgery due to the amount of blood he’d lost.
His friends have launched a GoFundMe in a bid to raise cash to help cover his medical bills while Joshua continues on the long road to recovery.
Joshua said he’d been spear fishing in the water when he “felt a canoe run into the side of me”.
“So I lifted my head up and had a look around but there was nothing, there was no canoe or boat. I put my head back under and immediately felt something latch onto my head. I didn’t know what it was.
“It took me a few seconds to realize ‘oh s**t, it’s a crocodile’. It didn’t hurt, I was too shocked. I was just thinking ‘what the f**k’.
“Immediately, I grabbed onto its mouth with one of my hands. I had my spear so I was trying to get it with that but the spear was too long. I dropped the spear gun and my leg got tangled in the line.”
Joshua said it was then the crocodile was trying to get him into a ‘death roll’.
“The current was so strong and I was trying to fight it to stop it from rolling me.
“I didn’t think I was going to die because I was trying to survive and I was confused and thinking ‘oh s**t, is this really happening?’ and trying to get it off me. I wasn’t thinking about dying.”
Joshua said he had to swim back up current with the crocodile still latched onto his head.
“I was holding it with my hand trying to hold it still so it didn’t shake or try to roll. The whole time it was trying to roll. I managed to get into the shallow part and kick my fins off because I couldn’t stand up. I struggled back to shore with it still latched on.
“When I got to shore it was on my head and I pried it off. I got its mouth open ever so slightly to get my head out but it clamped down on my hand and I thought ‘s**t, this is hurting’ and if didn’t get my hand out, I was going to be screwed and lose my fingers.
“I pried its mouth open and pulled my fingers out and it dropped to the ground. Then it tried to latch onto the side of my body. Luckily, I had a wetsuit on but it completely tore that off and not my skin. I ran away.”
Joshua jumped in a taxi and asked them to take him to a medical clinic but says he lost consciousness on the way there and was carried in by the driver.
He was airlifted to a hospital in Belize City and rushed into surgery. He then spent five nights recovering in hospital.
Joshua, who also works as a freelance surfing instructor, isn’t sure if he’ll ever feel safe in the water again.
He added: “I never expected it to happen there. It’s where everyone goes swimming or fishing and tourists and families go there. I was very surprised because I’ve never heard of a crocodile or shark attack there.”
You can donate to Joshua’s GoFundMe page here.