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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

women who fought Crocodile to save her sister set to receive Gallantry Award in UK

How often do you go to exotic locations holidaying and how would one react, when faced with extreme danger, say a wild animal attack !

Puerto Escondido (English: "Hidden Port") is a small port and tourist centre in the municipality of San Pedro Mixtepec Distrito 22 in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Prior to the 1930s, there was no town. The bay had been used as a port intermittently to ship coffee, but there was no permanent settlement due to the lack of potable water.

முன்னொரு காலத்தில் ஒவ்வொரு வீட்டிலும் முறம் இருக்கும் ! நெல்லை உரலிலிட்டு, உலக்கையால் குத்தியெடுத்து, முறத்தில் போட்டுப் புடைத்து உமியை நீக்கி, அரிசியை எடுத்து சமைத்துச் சாப்பிடுவார்கள். இவ்வாறு வீட்டில் வேலை செய்து கொண்டு இருந்தபோது, வந்த புலியை முறத்தாலேயே தாக்கி அடித்துத் துரத்தினாளாம் ஒரு வீரமங்கை.  புறநானூறு,  எனும் தொகைநூல் நானூறு பாடல்களைக் கொண்ட புறத்திணை சார்ந்த ஒரு சங்கத்தமிழ்நூல். இது சங்ககாலத் தமிழ்நூல் தொகுப்பான எட்டுத்தொகை நூல்களில் ஒன்று. அக்கால சமூகநிலையைக் காட்டும் கண்ணாடி எனப் பாராட்டப்படும் புறநானூற்றில்,  பால் மணம் மாறாத பச்சிளம் குழந்தைக்குக் கையில் வேல் கொடுத்துப் போருக்கு அனுப்பும் மகளிர், முறத்தால் புலியை விரட்டும் மகளிர் என பெண்களின் வீரம் போற்றப்படுகின்றது.

The above is something in Sangam literature Pura Nanuru that hails a woman chasing away a Tiger  with a muram (winnowing pan) when the animal came to her paddy drying yard.

Cheetah is a marvel ~ the fastest land animal.  Its  slender, long-legged body is built for speed.  In Tamil comedy film ‘Kalakalappu’, directed by Sundar C ~ Santhanam will show a portrait of a man attacking a Cheetah with sickle. Vimal would remark having seen it elsewhere… Santhanam retorts saying that it was his grandfather attacking the tiger – the photo which they later gave to matchbox manufacturer…

Georgia Laurie, 28,  feared her sister, Melissa, was dead when she saw the crocodile drag her underwater after they went for a swim in a lagoon in Mexico.“I heard her scream and I saw her being taken underneath by the crocodile. Then I realised she was really in trouble when I was calling out her name and there was no response from her,” she told the BBC.  She then started beating the crocodile on its snout while it grabbed her other hand as she fought to save her twin sister from the reptile.

Later, her sister was taken to hospital for treatment of the injuries sustained in the attack at the  lagoon, about 10 miles from the Mexican city of Puerto Escondido. She developed sepsis and had to be placed in a coma but  recovered later. 

illustrative pic of Gangetic Gariyal

“The adrenaline kicked in. I saw her body floating and I thought, at that moment, she was no longer with us,” Georgia said in the BBC interview.   grabbed her body, pulled it towards me and rested her on my chest. She was blue so I tried to revive her, but the crocodile came along so I beat it off.”Asked if she felt like a hero, she said: “It’s a difficult one. I don’t. I think maybe that comes down to self-esteem.She said the attack was surreal and an “out-of-body experience” Of her sister, she added: “She fought for her own life, as well. She really fought and clung on.”

The twins, from Berkshire, had been volunteering with animals in Mexico when the incident took place in the first week of June. Their older sister, Hana Laurie,  set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for their medical bills and fly their parents to Mexico.

Now comes the news that the  woman who punched a crocodile in the snout to save her sister is among the recipients of bravery awards included on the king’s first civilian gallantry list.Georgia Laurie, 31, from Sandhurst in Berkshire, will receive the Gallantry Medal, which acknowledges exemplary acts of bravery. She described the award as “a silver lining” to their traumatic ordeal.

“It’s been a good thing for not just me but for the whole family. I feel like I have to share it with my sister because let’s face it I don’t think I would have been nominated for it if she didn’t survive,” she said. “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.”

Also to receive the medal is PC Zach Printer, who confronted the gunman Jake Davison while unarmed on August 2021 in Keyham, Plymouth. Davison killed his mother, Maxine, 51, and then shot dead Sophie Martyn, three, her father, Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, before killing himself.

This year’s civilian gallantry list, which includes nine people, is the first to be approved by the king.The King's Gallantry Medal (KGM), is a United Kingdom decoration awarded for exemplary acts of bravery.

With regards – S Sampathkumar

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