CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WSVN) — Emergency crews rushed a diver at a golf course on Florida’s west coast to the hospital after, officials said, he was attacked by an alligator, Friday afternoon.
The 10-foot reptile grabbed Scott Lahodik, a professional diver hired by local golf courses to retrieve lost balls from their ponds. The 51-year-old was injured on the course at Rotonda Golf and Country Club, located near Fort Myers.
During a phone interview, Lahodik’s daughter said she had been speaking with her father prior to the incident. “I had just talked to him about 45 minutes before the attack,” said Kaelin Lahodik. “[He said], ‘Hey, I have to go jump in this lake. I’m gonna to call you right when I get out.'”
But the call she expected never came. Instead it was a call from from her mother, who informed her what happened.
“Alligator grabbed his arm, started doing the death roll,” said Kaelin. “He was able to punch it, inundate it, and it let go. He drove to the clubhouse at the golf course, where they called 911.”
Emergency crews responded to the country club, where they stabilized Lahodik and airlifted him to a nearby hospital.
Officials said he sustained extensive injuries to his left arm and shoulder. “It was mostly located on that upper left arm, was the site of his injuries,” said Charlotte County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Jason Fair.
Florida Fish and Wildlife trappers captured the alligator shortly thereafter.
Trapper Bill Conrod was amazed by the animal’s size. “You don’t get too many over 10 and a half [feet],” he said. “He’s probably 500, 600 pounds or more. We couldn’t lift him. We had to use a winch to winch him into the truck. The guy is lucky he got away from it.”
Lahodik remains in the intensive care unit and is scheduled for another surgery on Monday. He is able to use his left hand but not his elbow or upper arm.
As for the gator, according to reports, it will be euthanized.
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