Police say a woman struggled in vain to drag her friend from a crocodile's jaws during a late night swim off a northeast Australian beach.

Police Senior Constable Russell Parker said the pair were in waist-deep water at Thornton Beach in the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park in Queensland state when the 46-year-old woman was taken by the crocodile at 10:30 p.m. local time on Sunday.

Parker told Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Monday: "Her 47-year-old friend tried to grab her and drag her to safety but she just wasn't able to do that."

He says a rescue helicopter fitted with thermal imaging equipment failed to find any trace of the missing woman Sunday night.

The search resumed on Monday with a helicopter, boat and land-based search teams.