Helmet-cam records frightening gator encounter
POSTED: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 7:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 7:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — An alligator attack was the last thing Tommy Swiader expected when he set out in his kayak on a Casselberry, Florida lake.
Swiader's helmet camera filmed the whole thing.
"It happened so quick. I wasn't even sure what happened," said Swiader. "He was, all I felt was something hit me in the arm. My arm was throbbing and I got thrown up on the side."
Swiader didn't have a scratch on him after the encounter, but even luckier is that Swiader's dog was also not harmed.
The dog, Buddy, was sitting in Swiader's lap until the kayak was rocked.
"I looked at Buffy and I said 'Oh No, Buffy's in the water you know,'" said Swiader. "So I just grabbed the leash, pulled her back in as quick as I could, threw her into my lap and she was so scared. She was literally curled up in a ball and did not want to move."
Officials said that it is possible that the Yorkie is what got the gator's attention because they have come out of the water before for small animals.
The gator could have thought that the kayak was another gator encroaching in its territory or looking for love.
"It looked like he was coming up more toward my arm because when I'm fishing my arm is more forward," said Swiader.
State officials said they will not attempt to trap the animal because too much time has passed and there are too many lakes connected together in the area.
Swiader said the gator has scared him so much that he might go on a saltwater kayaking trip next time.
"I had the jitters all night," said Swiader. "I didn't sleep very well I can tell you that."