'keep kicking' Teen describes being attacked and ‘pulled underwater’ by crocodile during terrifying ordeal
“I felt it grab my right leg first, and just straight away drag me underwater.”
A teenager has described being attacked and “pulled underwater” by a crocodile during a terrifying ordeal in Zambia.
"You just never imagine it could happen to someone like you,” 18-year-old Amelie Osborn-Smith told Sky News.
The British tourist, from Andover, was white water rafting in the Zambezi river in Zambia when the incident happened.
She was swimming towards her raft when she described the feeling of something going over her legs - which she initially thought was her friend.
“I turned to look and I realised my friend was in line with my head instead of my legs, and that's when I looked down and saw the crocodile,” she said.
“I looked down and saw the tail of it go over my legs. It was obviously trying to measure me up before it attacked me.
“I felt it grab my right leg first, and just straight away drag me underwater.
“At that point, I was just so ridiculously grateful that my friend was in the water, because he was able to grab the shoulders of my life jacket," she said.
“I thought ‘as long as he keeps hold of me and I keep kicking we will get out of this situation.”
She said once she was back on the raft she realised how close she was to death.
The brave teen then had to wait 45 minutes in agony as she waited for an air ambulance to come to her rescue.
"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 will I get through this?"
Amelie said she remembers her friend holding her hand and telling her "don't look at your legs", to which she told him: "It's okay, tell them to amputate both my legs’.
"I looked down and I knew in my head that there was no saving my legs and I said that it's fine. I nearly lost my life, losing my legs compared to that is nothing."
Afraid to cry while waiting for medical attention, she recalled how she "burst into tears" once aboard the helicopter.
"You don't realise until you're back how much you've actually gone through.”
"Obviously what happened was terrible, but I can't change it and I was so lucky to have people around me like I did. It's kind of a reality check, and makes you realise how lucky you are and how amazing life is," she added.
During the ordeal her lower leg was badly mauled, her hip dislocated and her right foot was also badly injured.
So far she has undergone seven surgeries and currently walks on crutches.
Despite the life-changing ordeal, the ambitious young woman has vowed to return to Zambia to build a school.
"It brings positivity to the whole thing, which otherwise would be seen as really negative. It's something that helps me get through every day."
Currently fundraising for the school she said if she can change hundreds of lives by almost losing her own then “it will all have been worth it".
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