KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A fisherman stared death in the face but lived to tell the tale when a crocodile attacked him near Banggi Island, off Sabah's northern Kudat district, on Tuesday night.
Nursahim Nusiri, 40, was making his usual fishing rounds at about 9pm when the medium-sized reptile attacked him from behind.
The crocodile caught Nursahim in a vice-like grip on his upper torso, but he managed to escape the reptile's jaws by beating it repeatedly with his bare hands.
Once Nursahim was free of the crocodile's jaws, he started screaming for help while attempting to climb out of the water.
A few children playing not far away heard his cries and called other villagers to help.
The villagers reached Nursahim in the nick of time and managed to scare the crocodile away before taking him to safety.
He suffered broken ribs as well as injured lungs and was immediately sent to a clinic in Karakit for treatment.
He was later transferred to the Kudat Hospital with the assistance of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
MMEA Sabah and Labuan regional director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som said a patrol vessel was sent to transport the victim as the only available boat on the island was being repaired.
"We managed to get the victim to the Kudat jetty at about 2.45am," he said. He said Nursahim was later reported to be in stable condition.