‘It was most definitely one of the craziest, scariest things I’ve ever experienced,’ witness says
A guest at a Marriott resort in Mexico wrote a critical one-star review of her hotel on TripAdvisor after witnessing another tourist being dragged into the ocean by a crocodile.
A teenager from California was attacked and dragged underwater by the huge animal while vacationing at the resort, ending up in hospital after fighting it off.
Kiana Hummel, 18, managed to keep the crocodile away long enough for others to intervene and help her out of the reptile’s grip during her visit to Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s west coast.
A guest named Natalie wrote a review of the hotel, saying: “The room was clean, although had a bit of a mouldy smell. The food and staff were absolutely excellent, although I wish there were more dinner options available on site. Based on those items alone I would’ve highly recommended this hotel.
“However and this is a HUGE however, the only deterring factor for my not recommending to others is the fact that my group of friends RESCUED a young girl from a 12 ft+ CROCODILE,” she wrote.
“Had my group not been sitting on the patio near the beach that poor girl would’ve DIED,” she added. They “pulled this girl and her friend from the crocodile’s mouth,” and Natalie’s friends “were spearheading the trauma to stop the bleeding with a tourniquet and demanding an ambulance”.
“I understand you don’t want to ‘scare’ guests, but the following day there should’ve been big YELLOW signs to warn of the attack… my group is TRAUMATISED by this experience.”
“That crocodile is a monster and will be back on your beaches until he gets what he wants, do something about it before you kill one of your guests,” Natalie added.
Resort staff member Fred Ruiz responded to the review on TripAdvisor, writing: “While we are pleased to learn that our food and services were excellent, we apologize for the unpleasant experience you had during your stay with us. We are greatly concerned about this situation, and we review our plans and procedures often and work closely with the appropriate authorities on an ongoing basis.”
The attack took place when Ms Hummel was about to take a nighttime swim with a friend. The crocodile emerged from the water and grabbed Ms Hummel by her right leg and dragged her into the water.
Ms Hummel told KGO that she punched the croc multiple times before it finally let go of her. But the animal then grabbed her by her right leg a second time.
“I just remember saying, ‘please don’t leave me,’” she told KGO.
“And I didn’t think I was getting out that second time. That was just really bad,” she added.
A number of witnesses took action and were able to help the teenager get free, pulling her out of the water.
“It was most definitely one of the craziest, scariest things I’ve ever experienced,” said Sarah Laney, a witness of the attack and a friend of Natalie’s, told the Bay Area TV station.
“Honestly, I will never forget it when the crocodile’s head came above water. I just went into shock,” she added.
Ms Hummel had severe tissue and muscle damage done to her legs and is still unable to walk. After the attack, she called her mother Ariana Martinez and waited almost 45 minutes for an ambulance to pick her up.
“I’m on the phone with her, she’s yelling, ‘get me an ambulance, get me an ambulance to the hospital,’” Ms Martinez told KGO. “It took them forever.”
The mother told the outlet that she flew to Mexico to be with her daughter.
After returning to California, Ms Hummel has been hospitalised at Marin General, where she’s expected to undergo a second surgery.
Ms Hummel, Ms Martinez, and Ms Laney all said the resort could have done more to make guests aware of the dangers in the area.
However, Mariott spokesperson Kerstin Sachl told KGO that warning flags and signs are in place.
“The safety and security of our guests and associates are our top priority, and we can confirm that appropriate signage, as well as night patrolling and red flags, were and are properly in place,” Ms Sachl said.
“Our staff is trained in how to respond to safety matters appropriately. We encourage all guests to be vigilant for their safety,” she added.
“Until that moment, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a crocodile was on that beach. Ever,” Ms Laney said.
“It could have ended so much differently,” Ms Martinez added. “That call could have been a totally different call.”