Diving with alligators

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divad

Contributor

g8trdiver

Contributor

My stepfather had a house on Lake SantaFe near Gainesville, FL when I was in HS (20+ years ago). I used to go out to the lake and swim all the time. Viz was a murky brown 10-15 feet, I guess. And, there were definitely alligators in the water, I’m sure. However, I never saw them.

However, the alligator population in Florida has increased over those 20+ years. I don’t think I’d go take a swim in low-viz water anymore.

Springs, spring-fed rivers (Ginnie, Rainbow River) yes – I would, and have dived in those – just a few weeks ago at Rainbow River. Saw turtles, etc. but didn’t see Alligators.

Today happens to be the start of a 5 week Alligator hunting season down here. They started issuing a limited number of permits to help control populations.

The attached photo was taken by my uncle who lives on Lake Seminole (near the FL/GA border in GA). This was sunning itself in his back yard.

I’d much rather dive with sharks.

Wendy

Contributor

There are alligators at some of the sites that I cave dive at, and yes I have been in the water the same time the gators were. But usually the gators get out and sit on a rock on the shore when the divers are in the water, I don’t think they like the bubbles.

Alligators can be aggressive and I have heard of them getting upset with divers, but not attacking, especially during mating season. They are pretty moody then. When the gators get too big or start causing problems in the springs, they are usually removed, but soon another smaller gaotr will move in and take its place.

Gators are dangerous and its a good idea not to go near them, don’t throw rocks at them, common sense stuff like that.

divad

Contributor

cdiver2

Contributor

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

g8trdiver

Contributor

I’m not sure when mating season is – but baby alligators do stay with their mommies for a long time – I think I recently heard it’s at least a couple of years (easy enough to look up. ). Alligators are very maternal – so if you ever do see a SMALL alligator. leave it alone – its mommy is probably somewhere nearby.

Though I haven’t seen while diving, I have heard them. They make a low grunting sound. Honestly I’ve seen more alligators on golf courses than dive sites. but I’ve heard them both places.

I agree – when they get to be large enough to be a danger, state parks and private diving facilities have them removed.

mcse_jacksonvil

Guest

If you have dove freshwater in Florida, then I assure you that you have been with Gators. You may not have seen them, but they were definitely there.

The Chairman

Chairman of the Board

I have swum under them resting on the surface with their feet and tail dangling down and then hit the purge button. They pretty near walk on water. :tease:

I was on a fossil dive in the Tomoka River when the dive leader accidentally grabbed a gator tail on the bottom. He pretty near walked on water. and we never saw that gator again! :tease:

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DivingGal came down to dive the springs. so I took her to Blue where we had a great time. After we finished the dive we walked down to the run where she saw a “Beware of them thar gators” sign. She had thouroughly dismissed this sign (less than 20 feet where we had gotten out of the water) until I showed her the gator sunning itself on the other banks. I think she will always remember walking on water that day. :tease:

I avoid them when they get close to 12′ and longer or in the spring/early summer when they mate and hatch. Gators are not deep divers, and while they do hunt under water, they pretty much wait in ambush in very shallow water. I have done more than my share of diving in lakes and rivers and have yet to feel threatened by any of them. I have felt threatened by them in a canoe and on land, but still think they are way cool. There is little to compare with watching a big bull gator make the water dance. That’s when it’s time to try and walk on water!

Of course, our sharks and gators have a continual debate about tourists:

Gators- “Taste Great!”
Sharks- “Less filling”

And you know that they both sponsored some recent advertisements in the north.
“Send more tourists. the last ones were Delicious!

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Alligator Attack – Defense Fundamentals

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world’s largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

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ShallowDiverDave

Contributor

I’m planing on diving a few central Florida springs in the near future and some of them have the potential for a gator habitant. Perhaps it should depend on the size of the gator, but generally speaking, how would YOU respond if a gator attacked. Purely a hypothetical scenario and as such is unlikely, but indulge me anyway just for kicks.

cerich

ScubaBoard Supporter

be prepared for the pain!

Keep reg in mouth, it’ll want to pull you under and drown you. Go for the eyes with thumbs or better yet between the eys with a bangstick.

Best bet, dive in clear spring water and avoid the buggers.

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ShallowDiverDave

Contributor

be prepared for the pain!

Keep reg in mouth, it’ll want to pull you under and drown you. Go for the eyes with thumbs or better yet between the eys with a bangstick.

Best bet, dive in clear spring water and avoid the buggers.

TxHockeyGuy

Contributor

I don’t think there is a good answer as to what to do once you are being attacked. I think you need to do everything you can to prevent from being attacked.

Short of a bangstick, if the gator wants to win, he will.

jasonX5

Guest

If I’m not mistaken they are illegal in many places?? Anyways, the device is a gun underwater with a short barrel normally in .44 and .357 caliber. However, I think it is probably very effective.

Midnight Star

Contributor

This is a tough one to field, because I think in most instances, the gator’s going to win if it’s big enough. Smaller gators, I don’t think are going to attack, so it’s going to be a larger one. If your on land, and one gets a hold of your arm or leg, have you dive buddy, if you have one, jump immediately on it’s back and cover it’s eyes with his hands, attempting to prevent it from doing “death roll” . that in and of itself will almost certainly tear (twist) your limb off. Once ontop, i’d forget all about whether it’s legal or not to kill it, and try to insert a knife at the base of it’s skull, severing the spinal cord from the brain – possibly stabbing it in the eye might work, but could make it even angrier. If it’s in the water and coming your way, submerge. I don’t think they attack underwater. If you get bit, and they start doing a death roll, something’s going to give – probably your limb. If they submerge, hopefully your buddy will follow it down and help to “immobilize” the gator with a base skull insertion, or get it to give up by an eye insertion. He can even help you with your regulator. The idea of the gator taking you down is not to tear you apart and devour you underwater, but to drown you. Then bring up back up to eat. If you do get free, i’d still consider eliminating the animal since it attacked a human openly, and will more than likely attempt it again.

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World’s worst alligator attacks with victims’ heads bitten and limbs and testicles ripped off in ‘death rolls’

WHEN an alligator crunches down on flesh and bone with its deadly jaws, it does not give up its lunch without a fight.

Here we look at some of the worst gator attacks, which have left their victims with horrible injures.

Zoo keeper Lindsay Bull, 31, was dragged into the pool by the eight-foot reptile named Darth Gator with kids in a birthday party looking on

Zoo keeper Lindsay Bull, 31, was dragged into the pool by the eight-foot reptile named Darth Gator with kids in a birthday party looking on

Underling the dangers of the giant American reptiles, a 71-year-old was yesterday killed by an alligator while wading through Hurricane Ida floodwaters, according to police.

The pensioner had gone to check on his property in Louisiana when he was attacked and put in a “death roll” by the beast, cops confirmed.

But this was no isolated incident, with the blood thirsty predators attacking their human pray numerous times in recent years.

An alligator handler in Utah called Lindsay Bull was left with gruesome injuries to her hand last week after she was dragged by a reptile named Darth Gator into its enclosure and pulled into a death roll.

DEATH ROLL

Lindsay was attacked during a child’s birthday party at Scales & Tails in Salt Lake City.

Footage of the attack shows Bull being yanked into the reptile’s enclosure.

The beast then thrashed her around in a death roll before a fast-acting visitor jumped on it’s back and wrestled it off her.

She suffered damaged tendons and multiple fractures, as well as a broken thumb and wrist, but she’s in good spirits and on the mend.

But she said that she bears no ill will towards the alligator. It’s not clear if she plans on returning to work.

Children looked on as Lindsay Bull as she fed the hungry gator before it attacks

CHOW DOWN

An off-duty scientist decided to lend a helping hand in 2012 when an alligator was spotted along Highway 70 in North Carolina.

But Fred Boyce bit off more than he could chew; as he approached the beast, the alligator viciously attacked him, nearly ripping off his arm.

Footage showed him wrangling with the thrashing gator.

He was rushed to the hospital to be treated and officials from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for severe arm injuries.

Fred Boyce as the alligator attacks him, biting down on his arm

ARM BITTEN OFF

Florida teenager Kaleb Langdale, 17, came face-to-snout with a 10-foot alligator in 2012 and made a split-second choice that likely saved his life, but cost him his arm.

Having watched TV shows on survival skills, he knew that the 10 ft alligator, which had got him by the arm, was performing the dreaded death roll.

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This is a manoeuvre to tear its prey to pieces.

So he decided to break free even if this meant ripping his arm off.

“I still couldn’t break free because I was still attached to the tendon.

“Then the gator did another death roll and I kicked my way out of it.”

He has now had a prosthetic arm fitted.

Kaleb Langdale, 17, really showed his courage when he smiled and joked through the pain and loss of his right arm

Kaleb Langdale, 17, really showed his courage when he smiled and joked through the pain and loss of his right arm Credit: ABC News

TESTICLE RIPPED OFF

Fredric Iman, 68, was attacked by a nine-foot alligator when he was taking his usual, morning bath in a pond in Port Charlotte, Florida, in 2007.

It then reportedly bit off his testicle, finger and toes.

Speaking of his horrific ordeal from his hospital bed, he told ABC affiliate WZVN: “I tried to get it away, and it tried to pull me in.

“I turned around, and…punched it in the eye.”

He added: “You’re having a nice day one minute, and the next minute, you’re a bloody mess.”

After being bitten several times on his left foot and leg, left hand, and groin, Iman managed to escape the gator’s jaws and trek up to a nearby surgery centre, where a worker called police.

“It ate his toes off,” the employee said, while speaking to a 911 operator.

Fredric Iman was attacked by an alligator while he was bathing in a Florida pond

The 68-year-old suffered injuries to his left foot and leg, left hand, and groin

The nine-foot-alligator grabbed hold of the homeless man from behind and bit him several times

The nine-foot-alligator grabbed hold of the homeless man from behind and bit him several times Credit: ABC NEWS 7

JAWS OF DEATH

A diver had a lucky escape in June after an alligator bit down on his head while he was searching a river for shark teeth, leaving him with horrific injuries that required 34 staples.

Jeffrey Heim, 25, said he had “no time to defend himself” when suddenly confronted by the animal that attacked him so fiercely he believed he had been struck by a fast-moving boat.

Jeffrey said the alligator bit down twice on his head leaving him with a fractured skull but he used his hand to protect much of his face.

He was wearing only diving gear as he searched for megalodon teeth in the Myakka River in Florida before being attacked from behind by the female, nine-foot-long alligator, WFLA reports.

He told Fox 35 that he’d only been in the water for a minute when he was attacked.

He said: “I came up and I just get blasted by what felt like a propeller, like a boat going 50mph. It pulled me down with my mask off.

“You never understand the power of a wild animal like that until you’re in its mouth.”

Jeffrey Heim was left with a badly fractured skull

He had to get 34 stitches and has skull fractures

Despite the gators jaws locking down on his head, Heim managed to escape

HEAD RIPPED OPEN

A teenage boy miraculously survived an alligator attack in 2013, despite having his head bitten by the reptile.

Andrew Hudson, 17, escaped with 19 stitches and staples in his head after the terrifying encounter in Geneva, Florida.

He was pulled under the water as the gator began what’s known as a ‘death roll’, but managed to break free and swim to safety.

With blood pouring from a wound that stretched from his forehead to the back of his head, Hudson managed to clamber out of the water.

He wrapped his shorts around his head to stem the bleeding while a friend, Mark O Shea, ran close to a mile until he found a park ranger who called paramedics.

The teen said the alligator, which was between nine and 10 feet long, suddenly attacked as he swam in the Econ River at the Little Big Econ State Park near Geneva.

Andrew Hudson, 17, escaped with 19 stitches and staples in his head after the terrifying encounter in Geneva, Florida

Andrew Hudson, 17, escaped with 19 stitches and staples in his head after the terrifying encounter in Geneva, Florida Credit: News 13 Florida

Alligator BITES DOWN on man’s head as he swims looking for shark teeth leaving horrific injuries including 34 staples

Source https://scubaboard.com/community/threads/diving-with-alligators.35709/

Source https://scubaboard.com/community/threads/alligator-attack-defense-fundamentals.168255/

Source https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16021715/worlds-worst-alligator-attack-ripped/

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