UPDATE: THE search will continue today for a boy, 9, who was snatched by a crocodile in the Northern Territory on Saturday.
The child was swimming with a group of people in Port Bradshaw estuary, a remote swimming spot, when he was grabbed by the crocodile, which police say is old and has lived side by side with the Nhulunbuy community for years.
Adults threw spears at the animal, but it dragged the boy into deeper water and possibly out into the nearby open ocean.
A massive search will resume today, with members of the NT water police and officers from Nhulunbuy Police station, based about 80km north of the attack site, as well as local sea rangers.
Superintendent Michael White earlier said the attack offered a grisly warning to all Territorians.
"This is a tragic circumstance for the child's family and friends and highlights the dangers of swimming in waterways in the top end," Supt White said in a statement.
The attack on the boy comes a fortnight after a seven-year-old girl was taken by a crocodile while she was swimming with other children and an adult at a local waterhole in the NT.
The girl was at the Gumarrirnbang outstation, 100km west of the remote community of Maningrida, when she was grabbed on November 17.
A three-metre crocodile was shot dead in the billabong the next day and the girl's remain were found inside.