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Crocodile rescue hero awarded King’s Gallantry Medal

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A brave British diver who leapt into action in Mexico and punched a crocodile in the face to save her twin sister from its jaws in June 2021 has been awarded the King's Gallantry Medal for her heroic efforts.

As reported on Scuba Diver, Georgia Laurie and her sister Melissa, 28, were back-packing around the world, and had gone to Manialtepec Lagoon near Puerto Escondido to see the glowing bioluminescent waters and resident turtles.

While they were swimming, a crocodile grabbed Melissa and dragged her under the water. Experienced diver Georgia frantically searched for her sister and eventually found her floating face-down and unresponsive on the surface.

As she was swimming back to the boat, the crocodile returned and Georgia had to fight it off, punching it to keep it at bay until they could get out of the water.

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Melissa was initially placed into a medically induced coma, and developed sepsis after the attack. She is now almost completely recovered physically, but both women are still coping with the mental impacts of the incident, suffering from disassociation linked to PTSD.

After finding out she had been included on the King's first Civilian Gallantry List, she said: “It's an honour, I was so shocked when I received the letter because I didn't see it coming, I didn't expect it.

“I feel really privileged, it's a silver lining to have come out of the terrible ordeal.”

She continued: “”What's made this story so incredible is Melissa's unwavering bravery throughout it all because she was so strong during it and I don't think I would be here without her, she really gave me the strength to keep fighting.”

On 11 August, the sisters hope to raise over £4,000 when they take part in the Thames Marathon – an endurance swim from Henley-on-Thames to Marlow – to raise money for two causes, PTSD UK and Companeros En Salud, a charity in Mexico which provides essential aid and medical training to communities in Chiapas.

Photo credit: Hana Laurie and Georgia Laurie

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Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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