As Croc Attacked Woman, Her Twin Sprang Into Action

UK's Georgia Laurie will receive King's Gallantry Medal for saving her twin sister in Mexican river
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2024 9:45 AM CDT
UK Woman Saves Twin From Croc Attack in Mexican River
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/SonerCdem)

A UK woman will receive a special honor from King Charles III for saving her twin sister from a crocodile attack a few years ago during a trip to Mexico. CBS News reports that the King's Gallantry Medal, conferred to civilians "for acts of exemplary bravery," will be bestowed upon Georgia Laurie of Berkshire after the June 2021 rescue in Puerto Escondido, where an excursion guide had mistakenly told the siblings it was safe to swim in a river off the Manialtepec Lagoon, per a release. It actually wasn't safe at all, as Laurie's twin, Melissa Laurie, soon spotted a crocodile about 50 feet away. "During the frantic escape, the crocodile snatched [Georgia] Laurie's sister just as she was being pulled onto the bank by one of the other excursion members," the release notes.

Georgia leaped into action, jumping back into the water to retrieve her sister, who was floating unconscious. Georgia managed to revive her twin, but the croc reemerged, biting Melissa and trying to drag her away by the ankle. Georgia fought back by punching the croc in the nose while holding her sister's head above the water. She then pulled Melissa to a more secluded area to check her injuries. The crocodile then returned for what the release calls its "final attack," in which it tried to "death-roll" Melissa. Georgia successfully fought it off again, though this time she sustained a bite to her hand.

The sisters were able to make it to a nearby watercraft. Melissa sustained "an open fracture to her wrist, severe puncture wounds to the abdomen, and many injuries to her leg and foot," notes the release. She also suffered sepsis while in the hospital and had to be placed in a medically induced coma, per the BBC. Still, she survived, a fact "almost entirely due to the exceptional bravery of her sister," notes the release. "I was saying, 'Hug me, Georgia, hug me, I'm dying,'" Melissa recalls of her rescue. "I was biting onto her shoulder to stay connected to her." Georgia, for her part, says Melissa is the brave one. "She was so strong during it," she tells the BBC. "She really gave me the strength to keep fighting." (More heroes stories.)

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