Melissa and Laurie
Photo by Alamy

British Woman Who Saved Twin Sister from Crocodile Attack Awarded King’s Bravery Medal

A British woman who heroically rescued her twin sister from a crocodile attack has become the first recipient of the King’s Gallantry Medal, awarded by King Charles.

In 2021, Georgia Laurie, 31, saved her sister Melissa during a holiday in Mexico by repeatedly punching a crocodile in the head. Despite her efforts, the crocodile continued its attack, told BBC.

Georgia discovered her sister face-down in the water minutes later and attempted to bring her back to their boat. The crocodile attacked again, biting Melissa’s abdomen and ankle. Undeterred, Georgia fought the crocodile off until she managed to escape with her sister. Both twins, who hail from Berkshire, sustained serious injuries. Melissa was saved by a specialist doctor who happened to be nearby,”.

Georgia will now receive the King’s Gallantry Medal, which recognizes exceptional acts of bravery.

“It’s an honour, I was so shocked as well when I received the letter because I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t expect it,” Ms. Laurie said. She added, “I feel really privileged, it’s a silver lining to have come out of the terrible ordeal… it kind of softens the whole traumatic experience”, reported by Daily Mail.

Reflecting on the incident, she continued, “It’s been a good thing for not just me but for the whole family. I feel like I have to share it with my sister because let’s face it, I don’t think I would have been nominated for it if she didn’t survive.”

“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.”

After the attack, the sisters were taken to the hospital, where Georgia was treated for hand injuries, and Melissa was placed in a medically induced coma to prevent infection. Both have since made full recoveries but continue to struggle with their mental health.

The sisters were volunteering with animals in Mexico and went swimming during a break when the attack occurred. They had booked a tour guide through their hostel, later discovering he was not licensed and had taken them to a dangerous swimming location.

Describing her fight against the crocodile, Georgia told The Times, “I was in a bubble. All my senses were heightened but it was just me and my fight against the crocodile. I’m knee-deep in water by this time and I was just punching the crocodile on the snout, hammering it with my fists while trying to hold onto Melissa and keep her up.”

“I’d heard that if you punched a shark on the nose it could deter it. It seemed to work and I’ve done some research since which shows that they have black dots on their snouts which are really sensitive. It bit her glutes. By now I was tired like you wouldn’t believe but she gave me the strength to fight when I felt like there was literally no strength left in me. I drew such deep strength from somewhere, from her, from my love for Melissa, and eventually, the crocodile moved off.”

This year’s Civilian Gallantry List, the first to be approved by King Charles, includes nine people. Among them is Pc Zach Printer, who confronted gunman Jake Davison unarmed in Keyham, Plymouth, and Pc Steven Denniss, who was stabbed while apprehending a double murder suspect in Louth, Lincolnshire. Other recipients include Lawrie Elsdon-Dew, Stacey Farrington, and Jake Walker for their respective acts of bravery.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden praised the honorees, stating, “It is impossible not to be moved by the stories of those receiving the gallantry awards today. Their acts of bravery have saved lives in impossible circumstances. I commend them on what they have done and congratulate them for receiving this honour.”

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