Why did tour guide let twins swim in lagoon full of crocs? British sisters attacked by deadly reptile in Mexico were taken on ‘illegal’ trip in lagoon by rogue guide, friend says
- Melissa and Georgie Laurie, 28, were swimming in lagoon when the croc struck
- Melissa was dragged beneath the water and her sister dived in to search for her
- After finding her sister the pair were attacked again as they swam for the shore
- Parents claim the tour company told the twins the water was safe to enter
Twin sisters attacked by a crocodile on holiday in Mexico had been taken on an ‘illegal’ tour of a reptile-infested lagoon by a rogue guide who is now feared to have fled.
Melissa and Georgia Laurie, 28, had been assured it was safe for them to swim in the water ten miles from the surfing resort of Puerto Escondido.
But the pair were ambushed by the 10ft reptile, which dragged zoo keeper Melissa under water in a vicious ‘death roll’. She was only saved when her brave twin Georgia came to her rescue.
The experienced diver repeatedly punched the predator – fighting off its terrifying advances three times – before she was able to bring her sibling to safety.
Both women are still in hospital where Melissa is fighting for her life after suffering a string of injuries including a suspected puntured lung. Last night their mother Sue, 63, said it was the unbreakable bond between the twins that had saved their lives.
Twins Melissa and Georgia Laurie, 28, were attacked by a crocodile on holiday in Mexico after being taken on an ‘illegal’ tour by a rogue guide who is now feared to have fled
Mrs Laurie said: ‘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.’
Their business consultant father Sean, 63, said: ‘The crocodile took her [Melissa] in a death roll, turning her over and over under water. Fortunately Georgia got to her.’
He said Melissa was in a serious condition and a medically induced coma after Sunday’s attack.
The father added that the twins – who are from Sandhurst in Berkshire – had repeatedly asked if it was safe to go swimming.
But their tour guide convinced them the area, one of the few places in the world where glowing bioluminescent creatures light up the waters at night, was safe to swim in.
A friend said the guide, an expat German, visited the sisters in hospital and saw the extent of Melissa’s injuries before fleeing the area popular with backpackers and surfers.
Travelling companion Cassie Leventhal said she had discovered last night that the guide was unregistered and had been known for holding illegal tours.
She said: ‘He has been doing this for a while and was called out by the locals who are licensed tour guides for hiring boat drivers and doing illegal tours in widely known unsafe areas, where crocodiles live, and not the location where all legal, certified, sanctioned tours take place.’
Miss Leventhal added: ‘He has been called out in the past, and, as of a couple of hours ago… nowhere to be found.’
The twins had been assured it was safe for them to swim in the water ten miles from the surfing resort of Puerto Escondido (above)
Discussing his daughter’s injuries, Mr Laurie said: ‘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 twins had stopped in Mexico after setting off to backpack around the world in March and planned to return in November.
They had been volunteering at animal sanctuaries in the country but took a break from their work to embark on the boat trip to the Manialtepec Lagoon.
The twins’ elder sister Hana, 33, said the pair had booked a nighttime tour via their hostel.
Business consultant father Sean, 63, said: ‘The crocodile took her [Melissa] in a death roll, turning her over and over under water. Fortunately Georgia got to her.’ (File picture)
She said she was ‘very proud’ of Georgia – who is ‘awake… but really stressed’ – for saving her sister.
The twins are in a private hospital in Puerto Escondido where Melissa – who has a diploma in animal management – was placed in a medically-induced coma to prevent infection.
Last night the twins’ distraught family were trying to find a way to fly out amid complex Covid restrictions and limited flight options.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We are supporting the family of two British women who are in hospital in Mexico, and are in contact with the local authorities.’
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