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Punch saves teen from croc deathroll

A British backpacker was savaged by a crocodile before a brave friend saved her life by “furiously” punching the beast as it dragged her into a death roll.

Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, was rafting on a river near the famous Victoria Falls in Zambia while enjoying her gap year when she was horrifically attacked, The Sun reported.

The teen was swimming with a friend when the 3m-long beast clamped its mighty jaws onto her leg and yanked her into a terrifying death roll.

She was moments away from death when her heroic male pal managed to punch the reptile hard enough to make it release her from its deadly grip.

“They had taken a break from rafting and she was swimming with a friend when it happened,” a source told The Sun.

“As soon as it happened he 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.”

Amelie is lucky to be alive after the attack. Picture: Instagram

The dizzying movement is the crocodile‘s favoured method of subduing its prey – it latches onto its victim and spins uncontrollably until its target is defeated.

Hero guides and fellow rafters also leapt into the river in a bid to save the Brit from the crocodile’s attack.

“Eventually the croc gave up and they pulled her back into the boat,” the source said.

“She was in quite a bad way. They patched her up as best they could and arranged an emergency medevac.”

Amelie was airlifted to hospital in the capital Lusaka for life-saving surgery – and to try and save her shredded leg.

Her father Brent Osborn-Smith, a medic and former Army reservist, said she had undergone “several surgeries” and was now in a stable condition.

“She has been operated on several times in the country but she does need to receive upgraded, definitive care in the UK as a matter of urgency,” he told The Sun.

Friends said she was very shaken by the near-death experience.

Mr Osborn-Smith said she had been dangling her leg over the side of a canoe after being told by guides the area was safe.

Amelie will be airlifted to the UK. Picture: Instagram

‘Her friend saved her life’: Mum recounts attack

Amelie’s mother, Baroness Veronika von Pfetten-Arnbach, also confirmed that her daughter had been injured in the crocodile attack in Zambia.

“She got caught by a crocodile and her friend saved her life,” she said.

“We don‘t know how she’s doing. She’s in hospital so they’re operating on her. She will hopefully be flown over in the next few days.”

The privately educated victim was rafting with guides from a local company based in nearby Livingstone.

They were on a break between rapids in the gorge below the iconic Victoria Falls when the teenager is said to have went for a swim with a friend to cool off.

“The guides had said it was fine. It is really quite rare to get crocs where they were. The big ones are normally above the falls,” a family friend said.

“So it was really unlucky to get munched and she was very lucky to get rescued.”

Her mother Veronika, a German Baroness, confirmed her daughter had been attacked.

“We can confirm that our daughter Amelie, 18, was attacked by a crocodile while on her gap year in Zambia,” she said in a statement.

“Thankfully, due to the efforts of her companions, she survived and is receiving the appropriate medical attention.

“This has obviously been a great shock to the family, and we ask for privacy at this time to be able to focus on Amelie.”

Victoria Falls. Picture: King William Travel

The mighty Zambezi River, sprawling more than 2400km, is a haven for tourists who enjoy watersports and want to experience the glorious views.

But they are often blissfully unaware of what lurks below, as prowling in the murky depths of the water – includes the river’s most deadly predator, the Nile crocodile.

The notorious crocodile has a reputation for preying on humans and is one of the most dangerous species of crocodile about, responsible for killing hundreds of humans every year.

Several tourists have been known to lose limbs while others have perished after being attacked by the vicious beasts in the croc-infested waters of the Zambezi River.

Deadly history of the Zambezi river

In one chilling case, British tourists watched on in terror as a crocodile scoffed the remains of a man during a sunset cruise.

The group’s guide initially thought the beast was feasting on another animal – but as the boat drifted closer, the true grisly nature of the scene was revealed.

Despite gruesome stories emerging from the rivers, tourists appear undeterred and continue to use the waters for an adrenaline kick.

Three years ago, a bride-to-be in the same area lost her arm when an enormous 4.8m crocodile attacked her just five days before her wedding.

A teen British backpacker has been savagely attacked by a huge crocodile while rafting in Africa.

Incredibly, former Zimbabwean tennis player Zanele Ndlovu came out of surgery and went ahead with her wedding to Brit Jamie Fox.

Horror stories have continued to emerge of incidents along the Zambezi River, with locals who rely on the river as a water source also falling victim to crocs.

Just this year, an 11-year-old boy was savaged to death as he bathed by the banks of the river in Namibia.

The youngster was snapped up by the predator in front of his horrified mother.

In another harrowing case, a young Zambian girl was attacked as she knelt at the river‘s shore to get water for her family.

Concealed by the gloomy water, the crocodile lunged out at the 13-year-old and dragged her under the water – almost ripping off her arm.

Miraculously, she escaped with her life and doctors were able to stitch up her arm – but her recovery took months on end and kept her out of school.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.

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