A 27-year-old Irishman has drowned in the Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The young man went for a swim in the Malanbanjbanjdju Billabong, at sunset on Saturday, at 7pm, and did not resurface. The national park lake is located 30 kilometres from the town of Jabiru, a common stop-off point for tourists.

Irish authorities are seeking out his next of kin before releasing his identity. He was travelling with a group of 20 backpackers from Ireland and Britain.

The picturesque billabong is 200 meters by 50 meters but it is known for the presence of crocodiles. The young man got into difficulties about 20 meters from shore and his friends raised the alarm.

A spokesperson said “The police and the national park rangers went to the scene when the alarm was raised…A search was mounted and three hours later, just after 10pm, the national park rangers located his body in about two metres of water.

“There’s no indication a crocodile was involved,” she added. It is thought that he got caught in the reeds. An autopsy will be carried out to clarify the cause of death.

The young man and his friends were staying in Darwin before he took the trip to Kakadu.