Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Survive An Alligator Attack

Kaleb Langdale has a story to tell about surviving an alligator attack. Seventeen-year-old Langdale was swimming in the Caloosahatchee River in Florida when the attack took him by surprise, ripping his right arm off just below the elbow.

The 11-foot gator lunged at him during the swim, and he felt the pressure of the jaws clamping down on his arm. The alligator instinctively began to do a death roll to drag his prey to the bottom of the river to drown.

Bones in Kaleb's arm cracked like dry twigs, and the violence of the death roll tore his arm off until all that kept it attached was a dangling tendon. "I still couldn't break free, because I was still attached to the tendon," Kaleb told reporters. "Then the gator did another death roll, and I kicked my way out of it."

Rescuers rushed Kaleb to the hospital, where he was stabilized, but there was no hope of reattaching the lost arm. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said a hunter tracked down the gator, killed it, and found the arm still inside.

Kaleb Langdale was clearly lucky. Loss of half an arm, while tragic, is nothing compared with the loss of your life. And it could have gone that way so easily. 

So, what is the best way to survive an encounter with an alligator or crocodile?

If you see a crocodile or alligator that has not been made into shoes or a purse, the best survival tactic is to run. They are quick, but probably won’t pursue very far.

If you are caught, try to gouge the gator's eyes and thrust your fingers (or a stick or knife) into its snout to discourage the attack.

If the croc or alligator has you in its jaws and begins a death roll on dry ground, roll in the same direction with the animal. Don’t fight the direction of the death roll or it will tear off pieces of your body.

In the water, roll with the animal and attack the throat, eyes and nose.

Above all, don’t give up — keep fighting.

1 comment:

  1. Lucky kid, not sure I would have done anything right when I swam in Florida so many years ago.