The father of twin sisters attacked by a 10ft crocodile has revealed details of the fight for their lives and how they fought the animal off, as it emerged the pair were lead to the lagoon by an ‘unlicensed tour guide’.
Melissa and Georgia Laurie, both 28, from Berkshire, were swimming during the day in a lagoon in Mexico around 10 miles from Puerto Escondido.
Melissa was attacked by a crocodile which dragged her beneath the water before Georgia repeatedly punched the beast in a bid to save her.
The pair are now both recovering in hospital in Mexico. Melissa has been placed in a medically-induced coma to prevent any infection to her injuries and Georgia suffered injuries to her hands.
Their father Sean, 63, told MailOnline today: ‘Melissa has lacerations all over her abdomen, her body, bite injuries. Her wrist is broken and has been pinned in several places.
‘But her worst injuries are in her lungs. She was half-drowned. The crocodile took her in a death-roll, turning her over and over under water. Fortunately Georgia got to her.’
The twins’ elder sister, Hana Laurie, 33, also revealed the pair had booked a tour with a guide through their hostel but had since been told he was not registered and had taken them to a swimming spot which was not recommended.
‘He’s an unlicensed tour guide and according to someone on a Mexican Facebook page he’s been doing it for a while, doing illegal tours in unsafe, unregistered areas,’ Hana said.
Melissa and Georgia Laurie, both 28, from Berkshire, were swimming during the day in a lagoon in Mexico – around 10 miles from Puerto Escondido
Melissa (left) was attacked by a crocodile which dragged her beneath the water before Georgia (right) repeatedly punched the beast in a bid to save her sister
The twins were volunteering with animals in the country and had been taking a break when the crocodile attacked.
Hana said: ‘[Their tour guide] had gone to where the crocodiles live and not the location where all legal certified sanctioned tours take place. He has been called out locally before, apparently, but that wasn’t for my sisters to know.
‘They found out the information through their hospital.’
She added that she was ‘very proud’ of ‘super-badass’ sister Georgia for scaring the crocodile off after punching it three times.
Hana told Radio 1 Newsbeat: ‘Georgia found [Melissa] unresponsive and started to drag her back to the safety of a boat.
‘She dragged her back as the crocodile kept coming back for more – so she just started hitting it. She’d heard that with with some animals, that’s what you’ve got to do.’
She added: ‘Georgia’s OK, she’s tired, she’s really stressed. I think she’s really frightened but she is awake and has got some wounds on her hands. Melissa’s still in an induced coma.’
Hana said that the family were in disbelief when they found out what happened before adding that the event was ‘so unusual, and so rare’ that they ‘didn’t believe it could happen to them’.
She also said that she first thought it was a joke when her mother told her how her siblings battled the beast.
She said: ‘My mum called me really early in the morning, I’m known to be a bit of an early riser, had it not been so early I would have thought that she she was joking.
‘It’s not a very funny joke… I just couldn’t believe it, it’s so rare so I kind of sat in silence for a little bit.
‘I managed to speak to Georgia on a video call shortly after, that was very emotional.
‘I told her how proud I am, how grateful I am, without her I wouldn’t have my other sister, without them being so fierce we would have been in a totally different situation and we still don’t know what’s going to happen, she’s not out of the woods.
The family (pictured all together) are now trying to work out if they are able to fly over to Mexico to support the twins but added it is more difficult due to the cost and Mexico being placed on Britain’s amber list
The twins, who were volunteering with animals in the country and had been taking a break when the crocodile attacked, were lead to the lagoon by an ‘unlicensed tour guide’
Georgia repeatedly punched the beast in a bid to save her sister and the pair are now both recovering in hospital in Mexico
‘I listened to her tell me how frightened she was and I just wanted to be somebody that was going to be there. We can’t be there be there at the moment, we’re thousands of miles away but I wanted her to know she’s amazing, totally amazing.’
Speaking on BBC Radio Solent, the 33-year-old added: ‘What we’re aware of at the moment is that Melissa and Georgia were swimming with a group and Melissa said ”my goodness, there’s a crocodile”… translate that how you might.
‘She was being dragged about, thrashed about, pandemonium ensued I guess.
‘What Georgia had told us is that she didn’t know what else to do other than just try and get to Melissa and just to hit it so we’re so lucky that Georgia’s got water safety training so she knew how to get Melissa and drag her away with her dive master training.
‘She’s been working in diving for years – so we were very lucky that she’s managed to get to Melissa in the water and just repeatedly hit the crocodile until it released her.
‘We know that this happened three times before they were able to get to a nearby boat that their friends were able to get for help.
‘It must have been so scary, I haven’t really been able to get much out of Georgia at the moment just because we’re focusing on their help and getting better and the details surrounding particularly Melissa’s condition but it sounds to me like there was a great big brawl.
‘Georgia and Melissa are very keen in the sea, in the water, they’re great with animals.
‘Melissa’s worked with zoos and animal charities for many years. So whilst they knew that there were risks in Mexico in the sea they booked a tour at a hostel, asked the right questions and they were told that it was safe
‘Georgia said she was really tired, just running on adrenaline and managed to drag her back to that boat where they’ve been sped off to the local hospital.
‘She’s got cuts and bruises and injuries on her hands from where she was punching the crocodile three times, so each time she had to fight again. I’m so proud of her, I’m in awe.
‘The last we heard [about Melissa] she is still in a medically induced coma since Sunday evening, we aren’t really sure, she’s had a couple of operations to stop the internal bleeding and to repair the open fracture in her wrist.
‘The main concern at the moment is just making sure all the dirty sea water and crocodile dirt doesn’t provide a nasty infection.
‘She was struggling to breathe as she was taken to the emergency department so they’ve put her into a medically-induced coma so they can try and drain some of the water, they can keep the risk of infection low, but now it’s a waiting game, she’s in a delicate spot.’
The family are now trying to work out if they are able to fly over to Mexico to support the twins but added it is more difficult due to the cost and Mexico being placed on Britain’s amber list.
The sisters’ mother Sue Laurie, 63, has said how the 28-year-old twins’ unbreakable bond had saved their lives.
The crocodile attacked both sisters as they waded toward the shore with Georgia forced to punch it several times to escape (stock image)
Tourists flock to Manialtepec Lagoon (pictured) to swim in the glow-in-the-dark waters – despite warnings that 10ft crocodiles lurk under the surface
She told MailOnline: ‘They have always been there for each other. The girls can fight like cats and dogs, but there is no closer relationship than twins.
‘They will do anything for each other. And what happened in Mexico shows just that.
‘If Georgia had not have been there who knows what would have happened.’
She said both women had terrible bite injuries while Melissa came close to drowning.
‘We have twin daughters who are travelling around Mexico were attacked by a crocodile last night,’ Sue added.
‘Melissa is alive, but we don’t know if her injuries are life-threatening or not.
‘She has water on her lungs and she has been coughing up blood. So we don’t know if she has a punctured lung or not. She has been put into a medically induced coma.’
Pictured: Twins Melissa and Georgia Laurie, now both 28, when they were babies dressed in identical clothing
Melissa and Georgia Laurie (pictured as schoolchildren) had been on a dream trip to Mexico when tragedy struck
Sean has previously told how Melissa, a zookeeper, was saved from certain death by her sister.
He said: ‘Georgia fought off the crocodile. It was only because she is a diver and has life-saving experience that she was able to save her.
‘They were swimming after dark in the bioluminescent waters when Georgia heard Melissa cry out.
‘She called for her but she didn’t reply. She could hear other members of the tour group but not did not hear anything from her sister.
The twins’ parents, Sue and Sean Laurie, said both their daughters had bite injuries
‘So she went under looking for her. She was very brave.
‘After several minutes she found Melissa floating face down on the surface.
‘But when she was bringing her back to the boat the crocodile attacked again.
‘Georgia had to fight it off. She kept punching it in the head.
‘She suffered lacerations, bite wounds too.’
The twins had taken a boat trip to the Manialtepec Lagoon, which is a coastal lagoon described as a bioluminescence natural phenomenon.
A place rich in biodiversity, the lagoon is created by saltwater from the Pacific Ocean, freshwater from the Manialtepec River and the deep water of the lagoon itself.
Tourists – like the British women – take tours at night to look at the unique glowing bioluminescent waters at night.
Swimmers are warned that crocodiles that can grow up to ten feet long – live in the lagoon.
Despite the warnings, the twins’ father claims that the sisters were assured by their tour company that there were no crocodiles in the water.
The twins had been assured by the tour company the lagoon was free of crocodiles before the croc attack
Mr Laurie, a business consultant, explained: ‘The girls asked specifically if it was safe to go swimming and the guide had said it was.’
The sisters had been back-packing around the world. They left the UK in March and planned to return in November.
However the twins parents are now considering whether they need to fly out to Mexico to bring them home.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘We are supporting the family of two British women who are in hospital in Mexico, and are in contact with the local authorities.’