British teenager attacked by crocodile in Zambia describes the terrifying moment she was caught

Amelie Osborn-Smith, from Hampshire, was whitewater rafting at Victoria Falls during her gap year when she was attacked by a 10-foot crocodile.

Amelie Osborn-Smith, who was attacked by a crocodile on her gap year, described the moment she was pulled underwater.
Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, from Hampshire relived her ordeal

A British teenager who was attacked by a crocodile on her gap year in Africa has relived the terrifying moment she was pulled underwater and forced to fight for her life.

Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, was whitewater rafting along the Zambezi River at Victoria Falls when she was caught in a deadly roll by a 10-foot crocodile in November.

The backpacker, from Andover, Hampshire, described the moment she felt something close to her legs as she swam towards the raft.

She said that she initially thought it was her friend, but then she realized it was aligned with her head and not her legs and then she saw the crocodile in the water.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News, he said: “I looked down and saw the tail go over my legs because it was obviously sizing me up before it attacked me.”

Amelie said she couldn’t breathe after the reptile grabbed her right leg and immediately pulled her under the water.

Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, told how “you never imagined it could happen to someone like you”


Sky News)

But her friend, who was also in the water, managed to grab onto the shoulders of her life jacket as she kicked the beast.

“You just think, how do I get out? How do we get out of this? At the time, I was so ridiculously grateful that my friend was in the water,” she said.

“I thought ‘as long as he holds me down and I keep kicking, we’ll get out of this situation,'” he added.

Amelie was carried to safety and back on the raft when she realized she had “literally been fighting for her life,” she recalled.

The teenager plans to return to Zambia and create more positive experiences.


Sky News)

Now he hopes to return to Zambia to help build a school for local people he met on his travels.

Her efforts are a way to bring positivity to her experience and help her get through her treatment and multiple operations, she explained.

But Amelie said the hardest part of her ordeal was having to wait 45 minutes for a helicopter as she bled and lay on a rock with no pain relief.

She said: “No one could get a signal and when you’re lying on the side of a rock, and you’re trying not to bleed to death, you just think how am I going to get through this?”

The plucky teen remembers her friend holding her hand and telling her “don’t look at your legs” but she told her “ok, tell them to amputate both of my legs.”

She added: “I looked down and knew in my head there was no way to save my legs and I said okay. I almost lost my life, losing my legs compared to that is nothing.”

Since then, Amelie has had seven operations and will probably have more, but now she can walk on crutches.

His comments came during an exclusive interview with Sky News.


Sky News)

But she hopes to start college in September and said she feels “incredibly grateful.”

She added: “Obviously what happened was terrible but I can’t change it and I was so lucky to have people around me that I did.

“It’s kind of a reality check and makes you realize how lucky you are and how amazing life is.”

Amelie’s parents had to jump through hoops to get their daughter home after the attack when Zambia was on the UK red list.

Speaking closer to the moment, her father Brent said she “fought back with great courage and refused to be subdued or caught” as the crocodile tried to wriggle into its famous death roll.

The 60-year-old former army major said “quick thinking and intervention” by others repelled the beast’s attack, but Amelie looked bad.

Doctors called her “a very brave girl” after she was rescued with a shattered lower leg and her “right foot hanging loose.”

The horrific incident occurred shortly after the guides stopped the tour for lunch on a calm stretch of rapids.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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