Horrific Crocodile Attack Leaves Student ‘On Fringe of Death’

by Craig Garrett
Smiling Crocodile - stock photo

Just months after being attacked by a crocodile while white water rafting in Zambia, a British teenager has won a bravery award. The Mirror reports that Amelie Osborn-Smith barely survived an attack by a crocodile. It nearly severed her foot in the Zambezi river. The 18-year-old was airlifted to the hospital in Lusaka. She had severe leg injuries after being rescued from the jaws of a creature by a friend.

Amelie had to endure seven surgeries after she was sent back to the trauma unit of a London teaching hospital. The brave 19-year-old said she wanted to “give back” to the people who helped her get medical treatment. She began fundraising to build a village school near the site of the attack. She won the Act of Courage title in the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons 2022 because of her courageous actions.

The Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons 2022 Judges weighed in on their choice. “Having been rescued from a fate on the fringe of death, she then took her survival as a calling to put back into the local African community where she saw the need for schooling and education to be so acute.” Months after enduring terrible injuries from the crocodile attack, Amelie returned to Zambia. She oversaw the construction of a school in Muke village.

Just months after the crocodile attack, the teen raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity

Through interviews and a Justgiving page, the teen from Andover, Hampshire was able to raise funds for the £40,000 project. “When Amelie first felt the crocodile grab hold of her, almost severing her foot, she feared she was going to die,” the judges said. “And then for a young girl to be the victim of a sustained attack in water, miles away from emergency services, those thoughts of not making it must have been flowing ever more through her mind. Her later actions were as courageous as surviving the attack itself.”

The judges noted how courageous Amelie also was following a multitude of surgeries. Amelie attends Hatfield College, and Durham University, where she is studying psychology. The teen explained, ” I didn’t expect to win this award. [Escpecially] when you see all the other brave people who were in the running.” The brave teenager noted the emotional stress the attack put on her. “Following the attack, it’s not just been physically challenging but also mentally.”

“Physically I have recovered as much as I can now. Mentally, the school is what got me to where I am, the teen explained. “Something like that has shown me that out of any situation, no matter how bad you think it might be, there is something positive you can take out of it. I owe my life to the people who saved me and the kids from the school that came forward.”