A British teenager who was badly injured after a crocodile attack in Zambia was told it was safe to swim by tour guides, her father has revealed.
Amelie Osborne-Smith, 18, from Andover, Hampshire, was whitewater rafting in the Zambezi river when the animal mauled her leg and tried to drag her under the water.
Her father Brent Osborn-Smith, 60, said the creature had “attempted to drag her down into a characteristic death roll in order to subdue its prey”.
He told The Sun: “Her lower leg had been badly mauled, her hip dislocated and her right foot was left hanging loose.
“The group stopped for lunch in a quiet stretch, between rapids.
“They were encouraged by the guides to have a quick dip over the side, to cool off. This area was deemed safe.”
Amelie is expected to fly back to the UK on Saturday evening where she will seek follow-up treatment.
“When returning to the boat, Amelie was bitten on the leg by a large crocodile, which attempted to down into a characteristic death roll in order to subdue its prey”, Brent said.
He added that Amelie “fought back with great courage and refused to be subdued or taken under”.
Fellow rafters forced the crocodile to retreat by repeatedly punching it.
They quickly administered first aid to Amelie, who had dislocated her hip and had her “right foot hanging loose” as a result of the attack.
She was then airlifted by helicopter to Lusaka, 240 miles away, where she underwent “several operations” to save the foot.
Amelie had travelled to Zambia to visit her grandmother as part of a gap year trip.
“Amelie remains traumatised and heavily sedated but we will know more about her ultimate progress in the coming days,” her dad added.
“We are humbled by and profoundly appreciative of the courage and professionalism of all those involved in Amelie’s life-saving rescue and her subsequent care and treatment.
“Amelie is a fit, intelligent, brave and conscientious individual who is extremely grateful to be alive and to have been looked after so well by all those involved in her rescue.”