Woman who fought off crocodile to save her twin sister gets King’s award
LONDON: (Web Desk) British twin sisters Georgia and Melissa Laurie were enjoying a hot June day in Mexico on holiday three years ago, swimming in a river in Puerto Escondido, when Melissa spotted a crocodile in the water close by, panic set in and they began desperately swimming away, as reported by CNN.

 Georgia reached the bank, but as Melissa was being pulled up onto it by another member of the group the crocodile reappeared and dragged her under the water.

Georgia, now 31, plunged into the water and twice fought off the reptile to save her twin sister, an extraordinary act of bravery for which she is now receiving the King’s Gallantry Medal. The award from King Charles III recognizes acts in which civilians put themselves at risk in an attempt to save someone else.

It is a “silver lining to have come out of the terrible ordeal,” Georgia told the UK’s PA Media news agency. “It kind of softens the whole traumatic experience.”

 “What’s made this story so incredible is Melissa’s unwavering bravery throughout it all because she was so strong during it and I don’t think I would be here without her, she really gave me the strength to keep fighting,” she added.

For both sisters, the scars from that day still linger. Georgia initially found Melissa floating unconscious face down in the water and revived her before the crocodile returned and attacked again, according to a Tuesday press release from the UK Cabinet Office.

At first, Georgia was able to fend the animal off, punching it with one hand while keeping her sister’s head above the water with the other, but the crocodile returned for a third time.

This time, the reptile death-rolled Melissa – a maneuver in which a crocodile rolls over with its prey in an attempt to drown them – but Georgia was able to punch it, the release adds.

She sustained bite injuries to her hand, but the impact was hard enough that the crocodile eventually released her sister.

A passing boat rescued them from the water but there was still a 25-minute ride to the shore and a 20-minute journey to the hospital during which time “Melissa fought her own battle for survival,” the twins said on their JustGiving page.

The sisters were on holiday in Mexico when Melissa was attacked by a crocodile.

Melissa was left with a complicated open wrist fracture, severe puncture wounds to her stomach, bowel and intestines as well as several bite injuries to her leg, foot and glutes, according to the JustGiving page. She underwent emergency surgery before being placed in a medically induced coma. She developed sepsis in hospital but eventually made a full recovery, the page adds.

Now, both Georgia and Melissa are preparing to tackle the Thames Marathon – a 13-kilometer (8-mile) swim in one of the UK’s longest rivers – in August to raise money for PTSD UK and Compañeros En Salud, a Mexican charity that provides aid and medical training to impoverished communities in Chiapas.

 “The further away it gets, the less it feels real,” Georgia added.

 “Because when you think about it, it does sound like a horror movie, but it is a part of our life, it’s part of the tapestry of our life.”