'I wasn't going to leave her behind': Twin recalls punching crocodile to save sister

16 May 2024, 17:31 | Updated: 17 May 2024, 05:50

Tom Swarbrick speaks to the crocodile attack twin sisters

By Jenny Medlicott

A twin who fought off a crocodile that attacked her sister while they were on holiday in Mexico has said she ‘couldn’t leave her behind' as she described the moment her 'primal instinct' kicked in.

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Georgia Laurie, 31, saved her sister Melissa when they were on holiday in Mexico in 2021 by punching the crocodile in the head multiple times, but it continued to attack.

Georgia found her sister face-down in the water minutes later and tried to take her back to the boat but the crocodile attacked again, biting Melissa's abdomen and ankle. But she continued to fight her way out until she finally got away with her sister.

Both twins, who are from Berkshire, were seriously hurt, with Melissa saved by a specialist doctor who happened to be in the area.

Now Georgia will receive the King's Gallantry Medal, which acknowledges exemplary acts of bravery.

Speaking to LBC’s Tom Swarbrick, Melissa and Georgia recalled the horrifying ordeal.

Asked about the moment she realised Melissa was being attacked, Georgia said: “I’m in the water when I hear her [Melissa] screaming and at that point I’m thinking she’s probably dead.

“We were calling out to see if she responds but there’s no response.

“The crocodile was probably about 10ft - not something you want to mess with.”

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Georgia said her 'primal instinct' kicked in.
Georgia said her 'primal instinct' kicked in. Picture: LBC

Asked about the moment she got back in the water to save her sister, Georgia continued: “It was a very primal, visceral reaction, I wasn’t thinking through logically that there could be any other crocodiles in the water, it was just very much instinct.

"Thankfully, I had the fight instinct rather than the flight or freeze and I wasn’t gonna leave Melissa behind so I just went back into find her and I found her body.“

Describing her memory of the initial attack Melissa said: “I thought I’m never going to see my friends and family again..I never thought I’d actually die by crocodile attack but thankfully I didn’t.”

Georgia said when she finally managed to retrieve her sister from the crocodile’s mouth, Melissa regained consciousness.

She said: “I was trying my best to calm her down because she did actually regain consciousness.”

Melissa said: “Yeah, I started flailing my arms and legs about, I think maybe [I thought] the crocodile was still attacking me, at which point it wasn’t but because I’d been drowned, when I regained consciousness I was very delusional, I wasn’t sure what was happening.”

Melissa has made a full recovery since the attack.
Melissa has made a full recovery since the attack. Picture: Social media

But then the crocodile returned, as Georgia said: “It came back and it dragged her away by the ankles [while I was still] holding Melissa, but it dragged her out of my arms. So I started punching it, going hell for leather, giving it a mean right hook, you know which I can laugh about it now but it was so-"

She said she punched the crocodile “countless times”, adding: “It was terrifying to be honest because I didn’t know whether I was going to die either.”

When Georgia finally thought the ordeal was over, the crocodile came back a third and final time.

She said: “So it swam away, obviously thought it can bit off more than it can chew, and then I dragged her away to somewhere a bit more secluded to where actually I saw a boat had passed by, so my objective was to get her onto the boat.

“But unfortunately before I could do that it came back for a third time and that’s when it death rolled Melissa in front of me.”

“The only thing you can do is fight back, so I just started punching it again and then it let go of Melissa, obviously caused enough of a distraction, and then it bit me in the wrist, so I was fighting with my other one.

“I turned into an animal myself, it was a very feral response.”

Asked if she’d do anything differently, Georgia replied: "Of course not, you’d do anything to save the person that you love, a lot of the time people think ‘I wouldn’t be able to do such a thing’ but we all have this strength inside us.

“You never know how strong you are until you have a reason to be strong."

Melissa has since made a full recovery, and Georgie is now set to be awarded the King's Gallantry Medal, which acknowledges exemplary acts of bravery.