Crocodile attack victim PHOTO: Sean Cole's body recovered after swim in croc-infested river ends in tragedy

The body of man who was attacked and killed while swimming across a crocodile infested river in the Australian outback has been recovered.  

Sean Cole, 26, pictured here, was at a birthday party when he and another man decided to swim across the Mary River in the Northern Territory.

His body was found on Monday close to where he was last seen.  

Police said Cole and the other man ignored warning signs to stay out of the water and that the crocodile attacked Cole as the pair were swimming back from the other shore.  The other man made it safely back.   

Senior Sergeant Geoff Bahnert was quoted by the AP news agency as saying that several partygoers had seen Cole held in the jaws of the crocodile "for a period of time" before disappearing.  

Bahnert added: "The Mary River is known worldwide to have the greatest saturation of adult saltwater crocodiles in the world.  You don't swim in the Mary River." 

Cole, an IT worker from Darwin, had been celebrating a friend's 30th birthday party at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, situated half way between Darwin and Kakadu National Park.

Resort manager Erin Bayard said all guests at the retreat were warned upon arrival to stay at least 5m back from the river and not to swim in the river as it is "full" of crocodiles.   

She said there had never been an attack like this before at the resort.

Four crocodiles were reportedly shot and killed in the area following the attack on Cole.