• Teen sustained muscle and tissue damage
  • Teen repeatedly hit the crocodile until it let go of her leg
  • It took 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive

In a relaxing getaway turned nightmare, an 18-year-old California girl was attacked by a 12-foot-long crocodile while vacationing in Mexico earlier this month.

The incident occurred at the Marriott resort in Puerto Vallarta just before midnight when Kiana Hummel and her friend decided to go for a late-night swim. Hummel told ABC7 that they hadn’t even entered the water when the crocodile emerged, grabbed her right leg, and pulled her into the water.

Hummel’s quick thinking and calmness following the attack saved her life. She said she repeatedly hit the crocodile as hard as she could while being dragged under the water. The reptile eventually let go of her right leg and as she tried to make her escape, it grabbed onto her left ankle and dragged her back into the water.

Sarah Laney, a bystander from St. Louis, heard Hummel's cries for help. She said she and her friends ran to help. The group was able to get the crocodile to let go of Hummel's leg and bring her back to safety, reported KFSN-TV.

"I just remember saying, please don't leave me," Hummel said, adding: "And I didn't think I was getting out that second time. That was just really bad."

Laney said: "It was most definitely one of the craziest, scariest things I've ever experienced... Honestly, I will never forget it when the crocodile's head came above water. I just went into shock."

Hummel sustained extensive muscle and tissue damage all the way to the bone but did not lose any limbs. Currently, she is unable to walk.

"I'm on the phone with her, she's yelling, 'get me an ambulance, get me an ambulance to the hospital,'" said Ariana Martinez, who learned about the attack on her daughter over Facetime. "It took them forever," she added, reported ABC7.

Laney, who stayed with Hummel after the attack, said it took 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. Martinez said that they were asked to pay thousands of dollars by the hospital before any treatment was given.

According to Hummel, Martinez, and Laney, the hotel did not do take enough measures to warn the guests about crocodiles being in the ocean.

However, Marriott spokesperson Kerstin Sachl in a statement to ABC7, said: "The safety and security of our guests and associates are our top priority. We can confirm that appropriate signage, as well as night patrolling and red flags were and are properly in place."

But the women said that they did not receive any verbal warning and the sign was small, which they learned about after the attack. It is mostly written in Spanish and was not lit up at night, said the trio.

Hummel remains hospitalized at Marin General and is expected to undergo a second surgery this week. According to the doctors, she will have a full recovery but it will take time.

Saltwater crocodiles are known to inhabit the area around Australia's Lake Placid, but attacks are relatively rare
Representational image AFP / SAEED KHAN