nile crocodile
The 46 year old woman along with her friend went for a night swim at the Thornton Beach (Picture for representation) Hans Hillewaert/Flickr

A woman is reportedly dead from a crocodile attack in Northern Australia on the evening of 29 May after going for a night swim at the beach.

The 46-year-old, Cindy Waldron, along with her friend Leann Mitchell went for a swim at 10.30pm at Thornton Beach in far north of Queensland state.

The police said that the women were waist deep in the water when the crocodile took one of them. A rescue helicopter was sent out in the night to find the woman using thermal imaging equipment but she could not be found.

Senior Constable Russell Parker was quoted by ABC news as saying, "It's certainly very, very concerning at this stage and we would hold grave fears for the welfare of the woman. Her 47-year-old friend tried to grab her and drag her to safety and she just wasn't able to do that."

He added, "She then ran to a nearby business and raised the alarm, and from that point police and other authorities were advised."

Neil Noble, QAS Cairns Senior Operations Supervisor, told Brisbane Courier mail a search was under way that involves the police, a rescue helicopter and the SES.

Her friend, a local of Queensland was admitted to the hospital for a minor graze and suffering shock. Noble said "She was transported through to Mossman Hospital in a stable condition, but obviously extremely traumatised by the events which occurred last night."

Australian media reported that Thornton Beach is located adjacent to a creek where croc spotting tours were organised. Warren Entsch, a member of parliament of far North Queensland said "You can't legislate against human stupidity. This is a tragedy but it was avoidable. There are warning signs everywhere up there."

According to AFP, crocodiles are common in the Tropical north of Australia and come under the protected species since protection laws were introduced in 1971. The last time a crocodile attack claimed a life in the area was in 2009.