A French sailor in Australia narrowly escaped death after being attacked by a crocodile. Yoann Galeran, a 29-year-old deckhand, was swimming out to retrieve a dinghy in Nhulunbuy, Australia when he felt a heavy weight on top of him. Right away, he told NT News, he knew it was a crocodile.

"It felt like a big stone or something coming on my head," he said.

"I just thought for sure that is a croc and I started to think the only thing to do was to move my body as much as I can."

Galeran continued to fight the crocodile, pushing and punching it until he was free. His boss, Lisa Heathcote, described the scene.

"He was swimming out and this crocodile has grabbed him by the head and done a roll," she said.

"Then he's just started punching into it and it let him go. Then it came back at him again but he managed to get his hands under its front legs and push it off."

Despite all of that, Heathcote said Galeran appeared to be in good spirits when he returned to the boat.

"He came back into the boat and said he had been attacked by a crocodile," she said. "He was laughing but I think it was shock."

Galeran's take? The croc released him because of their cuddle session. "I hugged him (the crocodile), gave him a little cuddle, and he said, 'he is nice, he is nice' so he left me alone," Mr Galeran joked to AAP.

He suffered several wounds in the attack, including puncture wounds in his neck and head.

[Image via Shutterstock/NT News]