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Posted by W von Papinešu on October 18, 2002 at 18:41:28:
SHROPSHIRE STAR (Telford, UK) 18 October 02 Inquest hears of attack by crocodile
A former head girl at Shrewsbury High School watched helplessly as her friend was attacked by a crocodile in a mountain lake in Kenya, an inquest heard today.
Elspeth Harley, 20, was only metres behind 18-year-old Amy Nicholls who was swimming in Lake Challa when the crocodile violently pulled her under the water.
Miss Harley, from Bradford Street, Shrewsbury, and Miss Nicholls, from Barnet, London, were with a group of teenagers working as conservation volunteers during their university gap year.
Another student, Andrew Pearce, told the inquest: "The three girls went in. Amy was first, she was always eager to get in the water. Elspeth followed, Amy was treading water. Then suddenly she let out a scream and was pulled under the water. It happened very quickly. Two of the girls got out of the water.
"She was screaming 'it's got my legs, get out'.
"About 15 minutes after she disappeared I did see a yellow eye. There was something there."
Miss Harley and fellow traveller Eleanor Lancaster, 19, clutched hands at Hornsey Coroner's Court and wept as Mr Pearce told of his desperate attempts to save Miss Nicholls.
The group had been told by local guides and officials that there was no risk of crocodiles.
Coroner Dr William Dolman, recording a verdict of accidental death, said: "Hindsight is a wonderful weapon and we now know that the advice was incorrect."