Sister punched crocodile in head after it attacked in a lagoon where they had been swimming
Melissa Laurie (left) was saved by her twin, Georgia, who found her floating face down and fought off the crocodile. Photograph: Rex
The Guardian- British woman is in a medically induced coma in Mexico after she was attacked by a crocodile in a lagoon where she and her twin sister had been taken by a tour guide.
Melissa and Georgia Laurie, 28, from Berkshire, had been swimming in the lagoon, about 10 miles from Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, on the south-east coast of the country, when Melissa was attacked.
Her life was saved by her sister, who found her floating face down and fought off the crocodile as she tried to carry her back to their boat.
The sisters are recovering in hospital, with Georgia suffering injuries to her hands and Melissa placed in a coma to prevent infection to her injuries.
Sean Laurie, the twins’ father, said it was thanks to Georgia’s experience as a diver that she was able to save her sister.
“They were swimming after dark in the bioluminescent waters when Georgia heard Melissa cry out,” he said. She had dived to try to find her sister before finding her on the surface.
“But when she was bringing her back to the boat the crocodile attacked again,” he said. “Georgia had to fight it off. She kept punching it in the head.”
The twins’ sister, Hana, 33, told the PA Media news agency the family were proud of Georgia, who fought off the crocodile three times.
“Georgia’s OK, she’s tired, she’s really stressed,” Hana said. “I think she’s really frightened but she is awake and has got some wounds on her hands. Melissa’s still in an induced coma.”
The twins had been on a break from volunteer work with animals in Mexico when they took the trip to the lagoon, according to PA Media.
Hana said the family were in disbelief when they found out what had happened, because the event was “so unusual, and so rare”.
A tour guide the twins had booked through their hostel had turned out to be unregistered and had a reputation for taking tourists to dangerous locations for swimming, Hana said.
“He’s gone to where the crocodiles live and not the location where all legal certified sanctioned tours take place,” she said. “He has been called out locally before, apparently, but that wasn’t for my sisters to know. They found out the information through their hospital.”
The family were trying to decide whether they could fly to Mexico, which is rated amber for coronavirus risk by the UK government.
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are supporting the family of two British women who are in hospital in Mexico, and are in contact with the local authorities.”