Crocodile victim celebrating end of friend's cancer treatment

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Media caption"They felt a nudge and a large crocodile is alleged to have grabbed one of the ladies": Queensland Ambulance Service gives details of the attack

A woman killed by a crocodile in Australia's north was celebrating the end of her friend's cancer treatment.

Cindy Waldron, 46, was swimming at Thornton Beach near Cairns in Queensland state when a crocodile dragged her away.

Her friend, 47-year-old Leeann Mitchell, tried to pull her to safety, police said.

Ms Waldron had travelled from New South Wales to be with Ms Mitchell as she completed her treatment.

Media reports said the pair, both originally from New Zealand, were walking arm-in-arm in knee-deep water before the attack, which occurred in Australia's Daintree National Park.

Nine News reported that witnesses heard Ms Waldron yell: "A croc's got me, a croc's got me."

The last fatal attack in the area occurred in 2009, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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Image caption Witnesses heard the woman yell "a croc's got me", according to reports

A search for Ms Waldron's body was set to resume on Tuesday morning.

Neil Noble, of the Queensland state ambulance service, said a 5m (16ft) crocodile had been reported in the area.

'An avoidable tragedy'

Residents told Australian media that the area was a known crocodile habitat.

Local MP and former crocodile farmer Warren Entsch said the area was popular with crocodile-spotting tours and there were many warning signs.

"This is a tragedy but it was avoidable," he told reporters.

"If you go in swimming at 10 o'clock at night, you're going to get consumed."

Crocodiles are common in Australia's tropical north and kill an average of two people each year, according to AFP news agency

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