The 28-year-old twins survived the terrifying attack during a swim in Puerto Escondido, Mexico (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

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The sister of Brit twins mauled by a crocodile in Mexico has claimed her siblings were taken to a river spot near a mangrove nesting ground – instead of a lagoon popular with tourists.

Melissa Laurie, 28, was saved by her sister Georgia who punched the beast until it released its deadly grip on her twin after dragging her underwater.

The Brit zookeeper was left fighting for her life after she was found floating face-down after several minutes of desperate searching about 10 miles from surf resort Puerto Escondido on Sunday.

Georgia fought off the reptile then swam back to a tour boat cradling her sister, as the croc lunged again and their friends called desperately for help.

The pair had been volunteering in Mexico and had booked a tour at Manialtepec Lagoon during a holiday break.

Melissa Laurie (right) was saved from the jaws of a crocodile when her twin sister Georgia (left) repeatedly punched it in the face
(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Initial reports said the sisters, from Berkshire, had been swimming at night in the lagoon.

But claims have since emerged they were unwittingly taken to a river near a mangrove that local authorities reportedly described as a crocodile 'nesting ground.'

The man who rescued the screaming twins, Gerardo Escamilla Perez, claimed they had been swimming in the river – and not the lagoon, reports The Sun.

Local authorities said the grassy spot in the river was a well-known haven for nesting crocodiles.

The twins' sister Hana had previously alleged locals said the tour guide who took the twins to the area was suspected locally of organising illegal tours and had vanished since the attack.

She said her sisters had booked the tour through the hostel they were staying in.

He took them to an area known for crocodiles and not the lagoon spot tourists were usually taken.

"He has been called out locally before, apparently, but that wasn't for my sisters to know," Hana claimed.

Melissa was saved from the beast by the heroic actions of her twin
(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

"They found out the information through their hospital."

She reportedly wrote online: "My sisters were taking a break from their ambitions to scuba dive and work with animals when they took a trip with a guide recommended by their hostel near Puerto Escondido, in Mexico.

"It's still unclear exactly where they were, but a crocodile attacked the group and viciously bit and shook Melissa.

"It has since transpired that this guide was known locally to be operating in an unlicensed and illegal way, but since is nowhere to be found.

The mangrove spot was apparently well known for nesting crocodiles (stock photo)
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

"We are so lucky that Georgia was there, and had immediate reaction through her water rescue training to fight off the crocodile and drag Mel to safety.

"The details of this awful ordeal are still not fully known to us, as the time difference, language barrier and the fact they're both admitted to hospital are making it very difficult to communicate.

"What is clear, is that Mel's condition is "delicate" having suffered an open wrist fracture, organ lacerations/internal bleeding and water on her lungs."

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Both twins had been given intravenous antibiotics as doctors worried about infections, their family said.

Melissa was placed in a medically induced coma while doctors attempted to drain fluid and help her to breathe on her own again.

Hana and Georgia say Melissa has been recovering well and was awake in hospital after fighting a sepsis infection in her bite wounds.

"She's doing really much better. She's doing really good," Georgia told Radio 1 Newsbeat.

Melissa's breathing tubes had been removed, she added.

"She's been breathing on her own very well.

Melissa (left) and Georgia had gone to see turtles in a lagoon but were allegedly taken to the wrong spot
(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

"She can't talk because of the soreness of the tube but she can hear."

The family is now fundraising to help their parents to travel to Mexico to be by the twins' side and support them while Melissa recovers in hospital.

A GoFundMe page set up by Hana and dad Sean Laurie updated supporters on the girls' progress, saying Georgia has been discharged from the hospital and remains nearby to continue with dressing changes and treatment.

The page says: "She has told us she went to see Melissa before she left and it was really hard. Mel is very bruised, has two black eyes and deep cuts to her face, torso and leg where the crocodile has bitten and scratched her.

"There's currently no change in information for Melissa's condition which remains "delicate", but we think stable. We wait to see how she reacts and recovers over the coming days."

By Thursday the fund had reached just under £44,000 before Hana disabled further donations.

The money will allow the girls' father, Sean, 63, to fly out to Mexico in the next few days.

You can visit the fundraising page here.