A British backpacker thought she ‘was going to die’ after being savaged by a crocodile in a horrific encounter while swimming in Mexico.
Melissa Laurie, 28, was in a lagoon near Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca state with her twin Georgia when the reptile attacked on June 6 this year.
As the twins attempted to make an escape, Melissa was dragged underwater in a death roll by the 80kg crocodile.
“I honestly thought I was about to die. I just remember being shaken around a lot,” said zookeeper Mellissa, speaking to The Sun.
“I didn’t feel anything, no pain, but I thought my arm had been ripped off where it had bitten.
“My mind was racing with thoughts, that I’m not going to see my family or Georgia and that she’s going to have to deal with repatriating my body back to the UK”.
Melissa and her twin Georgia had been swimming in the popular Manialtepec Lagoon with their friend Ani and his brother Gopal.
They had been assured by their unlicensed tour guide Recep Aydin that the lagoon was safe.
The crocodile was first spotted 15 metres away from where the group were swimming and sent them all into a panic as they rushed to get out of the water.
She said: “I screamed: ‘S**t! It’s a crocodile, we need to turn back immediately.’ I saw its eyes and the shape of its head just above the water and in that moment, I thought, ‘We are in trouble’.
“My heart rate just shot up. It was very hectic at the point.”
Melissa revealed she was almost close to safety as the beast took her down as she was reaching for Ani’s hand, who had already reached the mangrove.
However, as she reached out for his hand, the crocodile latched onto her left hand and began violently twisting in a death roll, which is used to wrench limbs from sockets of their prey.
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She was later found floating face down close to the bank after the crocodile seemed to have released her.
Her twin Georgia raced into the water to pull Melissa from the water before both women were taken to hospital and later returned to the UK to continue Melissa’s recovery.
Melissa left with an eight-inch scar on her abdomen from surgery following the attack, as well as an injury to her left arm.
Asked earlier by the BBC if she felt like a hero, Georgia said: “It’s a difficult one. I don’t. I think maybe that comes down to self-esteem.
“If someone told me the same story, I’d say ‘Wow! That’s so brave of you, you’re a hero!’ But it’s hard to believe compliments yourself when someone says these things to you.”