Alligator Attacks Kayak

"A kayaker exploring a section of a North Carolina river found more than he expected when an alligator slammed into his boat.

According to CNN, Pete Joyce was paddling in a swampy section of the Waccamaw River on Sunday when the alligator charged at him. The impact tipped him over into the water. He was able to grab some tree branches to right himself. Joyce was wearing a video camera on his chest, which caught the whole encounter.

“When it was about three feet from the side of the boat is when I actually got a good look at the head,” he said. “Not enough time to really react, anyway.”

Joyce didn’t see the alligator after the collision but could feel it brush against the bottom of his boat as it swam by. Once he righted himself, he hit the side of his kayak three times, hoping that might scare the reptile away. He took some long deep breaths and then grabbed his paddle and paddled the heck out of there.”  Paddling Magazine Online

Yackman’s Comments:  I generally paddle in gator infested waters in the late fall, winter and spring when Alligators are generally dormant.  But, while I have never had any experience like this with one of these creatures, I have had two incidents that that had me wondering and made me a little nervous and cautious.  The first incident happened in March some years ago on Florida’s Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail.  We came upon a large derelict boat nestled along the shore of a creek.  An alligator swam back and forth along the side of the boat as if guarding it.  It didn’t come toward us, but it looked like a warning not to approach.  So we quickly paddled past.

The second incident happened in June about five years ago on the St. Sebastian River.  I was paddling with my 21 year old granddaughter Danah.  We spotted a bay on the South side of the river that looked like it wanted exploring.  That’s when we saw the gator. It patrolled back and fort across the narrow entrance.  We watched for a while till it finally turned and started swimming directly at us.  We got out of there pretty quickly.  My thought was that the gator was probably a female guarding her nest.

Clicking on the CNN link above will give you more detail about the incident and some information on alligator behavior.

 © Don Yackel 2020