A British teenager has been reportedly attacked by a crocodile while travelling with friends on a gap-year holiday in southern Africa.
Amelie Osborn-Smith, from Andover, Hampshire, was white water rafting in the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls in Zambia when the reptile pounced at her, MailOnline reports.
The 18-year-old’s father said his daughter had been resting her leg over the side of the boat when the crocodile bit her and dragged her under the water.
Osborn-Smith, who was backpacking after finishing her A-levels at school in Winchester, was reportedly saved by a friend who punched the crocodile on the nose until it released her. She has been airlifted to hospital in the capital, Lusaka, about 240 miles (380km) away, where she is being treated for serious injuries to her leg.
Her father told reporters: “She wasn’t actually swimming but just sitting on the boat and the crocodile saw her leg dangling in the water and thought: ‘There’s lunch.’
“She’s in a pretty bad state at the moment in Zambia and we’re doing our best to try and get her back to have some proper definitive care here, but obviously with a crocodile bite there’s a huge risk of infection and she’s got a very severely damaged leg. It’s quite a distressing situation.
“She’s been stabilised as best they can but it’s still pretty touch and go.”
He said Zambia was on the Covid red list, presenting further challenges in getting his daughter home.
An unnamed friend of Osborn-Smith’s told reporters: “As soon as it happened the male friend dived under the water and started punching the crocodile furiously. Then others jumped in to help. It was chaos. There was blood and people thrashing everywhere. She is lucky to be alive.”
Osborn-Smith was reportedly white water rafting with Bundu Rafting, based in Livingstone in Zambia. The company has been operating in the Victoria Falls area since 1996.