Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, was on a rafting expedition in Zambia when she was attacked by a fierce crocodile, which bit into her leg and left her right foot “hanging”
A British teen who fought off a crocodile that mauled her leg to shreds and left her foot “hanging” was dubbed “one hell of a brave girl” by the medics who treated her.
Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, was on a white water rafting trip in Zambia when a large croc attacked her as she swam in the Zambezi River on Tuesday.
Amelia’s proud dad and former Army major, Brent, 60, said she “fought back with great courage and refused to be subdued or taken under” as the beast tried to twist into its notorious “death roll”.
The horrific attack happened just after the guides stopped the tour for lunch in a “quiet stretch, between rapids”, Brent said.
Recalling his daughter’s close call, he said: “They were encouraged by the guides to have a quick dip over the side, to cool off.
“This area was deemed to be safe.”
Everything was fine and clear when the group plunged in to the water, downstream from Victoria Falls.
But, as they returned to the boat, the croc chomped down on Amelie’s leg.
“When returning to the boat, Amelie was bitten on the leg by a large crocodile, which attempted to drag her down into a characteristic death roll in order to subdue its prey,” Brent told The Sun..
Amelie fought back with great courage and refused to be subdued or taken under.”
As Amelie desperately fought to keep herself out of the croc’s fatal twist, guides and other rafters rushed to her aid and smashed crushing blows down on the reptile with their fists.
Brent added that the “quick thinking and intervention” of the others on the boat “repulsed” the beast’s attack, and allowed them to get Amelie out of the water swiftly.
But Amelie was in a bad way, with a lower leg ripped to shreds, a dislocated hip and her “right foot was left hanging loose”.
The team managed to administer “effective” first aid, and curbed the blood loss, Brent said.
Despite the horror of the incident, Amelie “remained calm and collected”, and shocked the crew because she “didn’t even shed a tear”.
The guides and rafters kept the “very hot sun” off her and made sure she stayed conscious while a chopper swooped down to evacuate her from the river.
Pilots airlifted the 18-year-old to an aid post in a nearby town before being taken on a 240 mile journey to Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, where she had several surgeries which saved her right foot.
And after the operation, one of the medics sent Brent a message saying: “You have one hell of a brave girl there, Sir.”
Amelie will fly home to the UK on Saturday to have further treatment in London.
The 18-year-old “remains traumatised and heavily sedated”, her dad said.
Brent hopes the family will find out more about Amelie’s progress in the coming days.
He added: “We are humbled by and profoundly appreciative of the courage and professionalism of all those involved in Amelie’s life-saving rescue and her subsequent care and treatment.
“Amelie is a fit, intelligent, brave and conscientious individual who is extremely grateful to be alive and to have been looked after so well by all those involved in her rescue.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.