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Queensland teen jumped into croc-infested waters... to score a date

The 18-year-old says he went through with the ridiculous dare for a chance at L-O-V-E.

By Candice Mehta-Culjak
Lee de Paauw, Crocodile Attack Victim

Lee de Paauw, 18, is one lucky guy. He was grabbed by a three-metre crocodile while climbing out of Queensland's Johnstone River after being dared to jump in.

The Innisfail teen admits that he agreed to the ludicrous (and downright-dangerous) stunt all in the hopes of scoring a date with British backpacker Sophie Paterson, according to 9 News.

“It was all worth it. She’s beautiful, caring and kind,” Lee said to the outlet.

The publication adds that Sophie - who was the one who initially dared Lee to jump into the river - has now agreed to a movie date.

That will certainly be a story to tell at the wedding if things do work out…

Sophie Paterson is the one who dared Lee to make the jump.
Sophie Paterson is the one who dared Lee to make the jump.

Sophie and her friends met Lee earlier that fateful evening at the hostel she was staying at and, after sharing a few drinks, Lee bragged about swimming across the notorious crocodile-infested river.

“He was talking about the local creek saying ‘I can swim out’ and so we said, ‘go on then’, but we didn’t think he would do it,” she explained to The Courier Mail.

“He sort of made this claim ‘I’ll swim out and back’, (and) at first we just said ‘don’t be so ridiculous’ and didn’t think he was going to go through with it," she said.

“It all happened very fast, pretty much as soon as he jumped in, there was splashing and screaming.”

Lee survived the terrifying encounter with his left arm suffering “significant injuries” but “still intact, which is very fortunate," says a Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) officer who was called to the scene. It seems Lee was able to struggle free of the croc by punching it with his right arm.

After pulling himself from the water, Lee was taken to Innisfail Hospital and later transferred to Cairns Hospital. He’s in a stable condition, set to undergo surgery to reattach his arm.

Keep us updated on your blossoming love story, won’t you?

WATCH: Lee explains his motives behind the daring stunt.