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Woman dragged from crocodile's jaws in one of two attacks in Australia


A no-swimming sign warning of crocodiles is seen at Finch Bay in Queensland, Australia, on June 20, 2011.


Mark Kolbe

A young cruise ship passenger is recovering in hospital after being bitten on the legs by a saltwater crocodile while swimming from a luxury tour boat in Western Australia's Kimberley region, in one of two croc attacks in Australia on Monday.

Tara Hawkes, 23, was reportedly attacked while paddling just feet from the cruise ship True North in Talbot Bay, on the WA northeast coast, reported.

The Fairfax press cited a statement by Peter Trembath of North Star Cruises as saying the attack happened in waist-deep water.

Hawkes, an employee of True North — used by American model Jerry Hall and her Perth-based boyfriend Warwick Hemsley on a recent trip to the Kimberley, wrote — was pulled to safety by a fellow passenger.  

She was reportedly flown to hospital by helicopter with lacerations and puncture wounds to her upper legs and waist. True North has its own helicopter and landing pad.

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Passengers aboard the vessel, which can carry 36 passengers and has 20 staff, pay up to $14,000 a person for a seven-night cruise in the Kimberley region.

According to Fairfax, Hawkes' sister, Nelly, posted a message of reassurance to her friends on her Facebook page.

"Thanks everyone for your thoughts! things are looking up and she will be on the road to recovery soon x"

"Crew members checked the pool before entering the water, however they did not detect the crocodile which was estimated to be two meters [over 6 feet] in length."

The attack came just two days after father Peter Kurmann was killed by a shark on the same stretch of WA coastline.

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It also came on the same day as a motorist in the state of Queensland reported that a 6-7-foot crocodile leapt at a car.

Police officers said no-one was injured in the relatively unusual attack, and the crocodile returned to a nearby creek, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.