A boy was dragged underwater by a crocodile while he played hide and seek on a family holiday in Cancun.

Charlie Buhl, 12, has been left with horrific injuries after the 13-foot predator ambushed him and grabbed him by the leg.

He was attacked while he was playing hide and seek with his mates on the pool deck of Club Med Cancun on June 18.

Charlie was hiding with a pal on a staircase that led to a lagoon at about 8.55pm when the monster crocodile pounced.

The next thing Charlie knew, he was in the water.

He told Good Morning America : “There was nothing I could do. It was so strong.”

Charlie was dragged into the water while playing hide and seek and spent four weeks in a hospital in Cancun

His mum Jennifer, 50, told People : “Charlie kept grabbing the stairs to try to pull himself up… but couldn’t.”

Jennifer added that a group of men also came to the rescue and one began pulling Charlie away from the crocodile.

Three others then smacked the reptile with their fists and feet and covered its eyes with a pillow from the pool deck.

She said: “When they arrived, Charlie was under the water. They couldn’t see him.”

Charlie said he felt the crocodile “squeezing” his leg and pulling “as hard as it could”.

He said: “It felt like I got stabbed. I knew it was real, but I didn’t want it to be real.”

He added: “I remember it pulling me under twice… but when I looked, I could still see the light so I know I was only under for like, a half a second.

“At the beginning, it didn’t hurt at all. It just felt like if someone grabbed your leg and squeezed it with their hands tightly.

“It almost felt like its teeth were holding the blood in because it hurt less with its teeth in [my leg] than when I was on the ground after.”

Jennifer said that the stairs leading down to the lagoon had a metal gate with “no lock” and “no signs or warnings”.

The mum was eating dinner at a restaurant overlooking the pool when Charlie was attacked.

She said: “I got to where he was on the pool deck and just fell on his chest. I was comforted that he was warm and he was speaking and crying… and then I just started praying because that was what came naturally.”

Jennifer was told her son’s injuries were “extremely serious” and he “would likely lose the leg”.

Charlie underwent several operations in a Cancun hospital and doctors were able to save his leg by stapling the open skin flap, Jennifer said.

Jennifer said the resort covered all of her son’s medical expenses as the family trip was extended by four weeks.

She now wants to warn others about the dangers of crocodiles in Mexico.

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