Woman Narrowly Escapes Alligator in Sinking Kayak

By ABC News

Jul 3, 2013 8:03am

ABC News’ Joanne Fuchs reports:

A Florida woman had to be rescued in a remote part of the Florida Everglades after an alligator bit her inflatable kayak, coming dangerously close to taking a chunk out of her right shoulder.

Sarah Boynton got the surprise of her life when the gator punctured one chamber of her kayak, causing it to sink in the alligator-infested waters in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on June 29.

Boynton says when gator latched on, it began its “death roll” maneuver to tear apart the kayak.

“All I remember is looking down and going, ‘Hmm. That’s a big square head. Hmm. That’s not a small alligator,’” Boynton told ABC News.

The 52-year-old immediately called 911 for assistance.

“There’s two very large alligators out here, and I can’t kayak. I’m sinking,” she told a 911 operator.

While on the phone, Boynton feverishly paddled toward the shore while her kayak was taking on water.

“I pulled myself up on top of grass, but as I said, there’s two really big alligators in here and I’m just sitting here now,” Boynton told 911.

Luckily uninjured, the avid kayaker waited with fear, hoping for some assistance.

“I got very anxious and was very shaken up because what if I was still out there? I let my primal fear take over.”

Due to the remoteness of the location, firefighters used an airboat to reach Boynton.

“She was very lucky to survive this ordeal,” Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Lt. Geoffrey Wade said. “Thank God she had a cellphone.”

In April, a 6-year-old South Florida boy fell into shallow water and was attacked by an 8-foot alligator in the Everglades.

The boy, Joey Welch, escaped with just scrapes and bruises after his encounter with the animal, thanks to his father who unleashed a barrage of punches on the alligator to free his son.

“I guess the gator decided that after getting kicked and punched, he just finally released,” Joe Welch told ABC News shortly after the incident.

Authorities say if you encounter an alligator, just let it be.

“Don’t do anything to provoke them. Don’t feed them. Just keep your distance,” Wade advises.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

HT muller NWO1 16x9 608 Woman Narrowly Escapes Alligator in Sinking Kayak

Courtesy Sarah Boynton

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