A British backpacker suffered serious injuries when a crocodile trapped her in a death roll - before a heroic pal saved her by punching the 10ft reptile, it is claimed.

Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, was white water rafting in Zambia when the terrifying attack took place in the Zambezi River.

The teenager, who was travelling during her gap year, was airlifted for lifesaving surgery, it is claimed.

Amelie's father, rent Osborn-Smith, 60, said that she was sitting on the edge of a boat when the animal attacked.

He told the Daily Mail : "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 and we're trying to arrange appropriate consultants here lined up.

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Image:

Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery)

"The other issue is that Zambia is now on the Covid red list, so there are various hoops which need to stepped through quite carefully."

A witness told The Sun that a male friend had dived underwater and punched the croc furiously when it happened.

The source said: "It was chaos. There was blood and people thrashing everywhere.

"She is lucky to be alive."

The witness said that the croc eventually "gave up" and friends were able to pull Amelie back onto the boat and called for medical assistance.

Amelie's mum, Baroness Veronika von Pfetten-Arnbach, told The Sun that a friend had saved her life.

The 18-year-old was backpacking during her gap year

Amelie's dad said he is desperate for her to be brought back to the UK

She said her daughter is in hospital being operated on.

Amelie is believed to have been travelling with a guide organisation based nearby, and a friend said she had been told the area was "fine" as crocodile attacks are rare.

It is not clear when the attack occurred.

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