Woman Punches Crocodile to Save Twin Sister Attacked While Swimming

A woman who saved her twin sister from a crocodile reportedly punched the animal in the head to get her sibling to safety.

Melissa Laurie, 28, had been swimming in a lagoon after dark at the time the animal struck. It prompted her twin, Georgia, to dive in after her.

After searching for several minutes, Georgia found her sister floating on the water's surface. As she was bringing her back to the boat, the crocodile attacked again, forcing Georgia to fight it off by punching it, according to the twins' father.

Melissa, a zookeeper, suffered bite injuries and was rushed to hospital, where she was put into a medically-induced coma. Georgia also suffered bites whilst rescuing her sister.

The two women's father, Sean, told U.K. news outlet Mail Online that Georgia was "very brave" for jumping in the water to help.

He added: "Georgia fought off the crocodile. It was only because she is a diver and has life-saving experiences that she was able to save her."

The pairs' mother, Sue, added the extent of her daughter's injuries were not clear as of Monday evening.

The twins had traveled to Manialtepec Lagoon, an area near Mexico's Puerto Escondido region in the state of Oaxaca, known for its biodiversity—particularly birds.

The lagoon is also home to bioluminescent plankton, which appear for a few nights several times a year. These cause the water to glow, particularly when one swims or trails their hand through it, according to Lonely Planet.

Sean told Mail Online his two daughters had been assured by their tour company that there were no crocodiles in the water, after they had asked whether it was safe to go swimming.

The twins' parents are now considering flying out to Mexico to bring them home. The two had been traveling around the world having left the U.K. in March, and were planning to return in November.

The U.K.'s Foreign Office government department said in a statement to news outlets: "We are supporting the family of two British women who are in hospital in Mexico, and are in contact with the local authorities."

In a 2018 study on crocodile attacks in Oaxaca, published in the journal Acta Universitaria, researchers said reports of attacks on humans by crocodiles in the region have gained attention, and that the animals "occupy a variety of water bodies critical to the livelihoods of many people."

They add such interactions "should receive attention on the part of the Federal Government to improve public safety," as well as to "prevent the extermination of crocodiles by local communities."

A crocodile pictured swimming at Taronga Zoo, Australia, August 2005. Crocodiles can be found in Mexico. Ian Waldie/Getty