published: 12 June 2012
EVERGLADES CITY, Fla – An airboat captain is rushed to the hospital after an alligator bit his hand off.
It all happened at Captain Doug’s Airboat Tours in Everglades City. The incident sent shock waves through Everglades City and the air boating community.
Just before 4:00 pm Tuesday, the captain took a group of six tourists out for a ride.
While FWC isn’t saying how this happened, witnesses tell WINK News they saw the captain feeding an alligator minutes before the attack.
What started out as a normal day in Everglades City, suddenly turned tragic for an airboat captain at Captain Doug’s.
“The captain in the boat in front of us had his hand bitten off by an alligator,” says tourist Ryan Carnick of Oakland, California.
Numerous Witnesses and fellow airboat captains tell WINK News the man who lost his hand is known as Captain Wally.
“We saw the guy come flying in very quickly, it sort of confused everybody because nobody really knew what was going on,” says Carnick.
FWC officials were able to capture and dissect the alligator, successfully removing Captain Wally’s hand from inside the gator.
“We saw the guy for a second, but they ran behind the house back there so quickly that nobody saw anything,” says Carnick.
Witnesses say the captain was conscious when he arrived back at the dock. He and his hand were transported to NCH in Naples where doctors hope to reattach it.
FWC is planning to hold a press conference Wednesday morning in Naples. They’re expected to release more details into what happened at that time.