Crocodile dragged vacationing teen into ocean. Fortunately, she escaped its clutches.

Originally published at: Crocodile dragged vacationing teen into ocean. Fortunately, she escaped its clutches. | Boing Boing



“Once it did, Martinez said the hospital demanded she pay thousands of dollars before giving any treatment.”

This is how it works in developing countries. Despite advancement of socialized health care, it’s hard for a country like Mexico to cover costs for tourists who need hospitalization. They even spell it out for you when you get the tourist visa (at least they did for me).


In the US, they’ll treat you, but then come back and bankrupt you to recover costs. At least in “developing countries” you get a heads-up before getting fucked.

Although, we had to take a very sick colleague to a hospital in Cuba. This was 2002-2003, and he had developed what was likely amoebic dysentery and had the idea it could be treated by a local Santería curandera. After a week or so he was pretty damn sick. The hospital took him in, got him fluids, some kind of medicine, etc etc and charged him some nominal fee. I suspect him being an American helped smooth the process.


I think the treatment also matters. It’s a big job to repair shredded flesh and tendons.

ETA: You’re still correct about the billing on the back end. They’ll likely spend more in the US when all is said and done.


Typical entitled millennial. Leaving one star reviews when they didn’t even get attacked by an alligator!

Maybe I am old fashioned, but I do not dip below 3 stars unless I am mauled at least by a beaver or wombat.


I like the affront in the yelp review about how the place was responsible for that crocodile. As if it lives there specifically, and access to the OCEAN is unavailable to the rest. There’s a fine line between enjoying nature and nature enjoying you, and we keep thinking nature won’t find a way.

Agreed on the medical treatment; I had to take my SO to a Caribbean hospital and it was interesting to watch them make a diagnosis, determine the tests needed, then send me to the payment office to make the payment before they started.

OTOH, they also looked down his throat with the light from the nurse’s iPhone (in an area where there were tropical respiratory diseases, and you KNOW that phone didn’t get sterilized) and along with the flies all around the hospital, we were glad he wasn’t in with an open wound or communicable issue.


In addition to this, I wondered how time of night factored into the incident. She went on a midnight swim. Most hotels don’t have a lot of staff on duty late at night, probably because they figure the guests are asleep. Emergency response might be slower for the same reason. That teen tourist was very lucky someone heard her cry for help.


If enough people are giving 1-star reviews over crocodile attacks to seriously hurt their overall Yelp rating then maybe the hotel ought to put up a sign or something warning about the crocodiles.


They had them. Everyone said they should have done more.


One word: Auslandskrankenversicherung.


Maybe they could spring for a lighted sign. :wink:


Yeah, their only recourse is to try to damn the resort in reviews–which they’ve ALREADY DONE… She walked past a number of bilingual warning signs to take a midnight swim in the Marina area (known for occasional crocodile appearances), got attacked, and it’s someone (anyone) else’s fault. The article repeats a claim of 45 minute ambulance response time and demanding the payment up front. Idk about ordinary ambulance response times locally, but in PV, hospitals get the money first, THEN you’re attended to. Hospital and resort are not liable for tourist ignorance.


Ignorant bystander here: There’s crocodiles in the OCEAN? I thought it was only swamps and rivers.

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There sure is: Saltwater crocodile - Wikipedia

It gets really fun when you’re out somewhere like the Great Barrier Reef with great white sharks and saltwater crocs.


My visit to your resort was abysmal. The kitchen closes early and the buffet had only a single item available, which was stolen off my plate almost immediately. :star:

  • Crocodylus “Croc” Porosus

And reading/comprehension lessons? :wink:


Yep, and no matter what, it’s not going to cost a dime on the dollar to what it would cost in the US. Plus, some developing countries with a long established socialist health care system, like Argentina, treat tourists for free like everyone else.

Occasionally there will be a conservative media blitz about how people bus in from for pay countries to take advantage of the system - who could forget the 2009 outrage over the Paraguayans crossing the border to get free boob jobs with our tax pesos! but in general it is understood that health care is a human right.

They will sometimes ask you for a contribution on the way in or out if the chronic underfunding is stressing the hospital, but this comes in the way of a specific set of products related to what they used/will use for your care. It’s still considered bad, but you shrug and go to the pharmacy and buy the amount of sterile gauze they asked for or whatever. It is that type of thing, for those types of costs.

I imagine for foreigners the blood requirement is waived, but for locals, the other thing is that you are supposed to provide an equivalent to the estimated liters of blood they’re going to use on you - so you have to ask friends and family to donate blood and when they do so, they say ‘put it on so-and-so’s tab’ and then when you have enough liters, you turn in your tab at the hospital. It’s actually a kinda nice thing in terms of social cohesion- you feel so impotent when someone you care for is going through a rough time bc their family member is unwell - but at least you can wake up early and go donate blood for them.

I just remember back when I still had a tourist visa one time that my ear drum busted in the middle of the night and I went to a public emergency room, where I was looked over, hugged and petted by supportive nurses while I waited the whole 15 minutes or so before seeing a doctor, who derived me to the also free, ear, nose and throat hospital. Then the nursing staff helped me figure out the bus to take. Then when I was halfway out the door, an admissions staffer suddenly said “hey, wait!” and came over with this little clipboard and asked me my name and passport number and they wrote it down along with my times in and out and diagnosis and notes. That was it. And suddenly I realized that those pages and pages and pages of forms you have to fill out in US ER waiting rooms, where you have to write make and model of your car, work phone, weekly income, etc., all while horribly sick, are actually loan applications more or less. The tears started running down my face as a lifetime of normalcy suddenly turned into indignant disgust. But, like I said, it was night, so no one really saw and the bus wasn’t long in arriving.


As far as I know, this is the way Cuba’s system always operated for everyone (maybe until recent extra-reloaded blockade).


You now have to purchase insurance before you enter the country. Not so back then, as far as my experiences went.