published 01 July 2013
by Zoe Mintz
An airboat rescues a Florida woman kayaking in the Everglades. She escaped unhurt after an alligator attacked her inflatable kayak, causing it to sink.
The unnamed woman was kayaking in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach, Fla., on Saturday at around 12:15 p.m. when a gator attacked her inflatable raft. Although the location is considered remote, it is a popular place to spot wildlife, the Sun-Sentinel reports. After the attack was reported, an airboat search and rescue team found and rescued the woman.
She was not injured, but authorities say she was “shaken up” by the attack, which took place in the northernmost portion of Florida’s Everglades, WFLX reports. The Loxahatchee Refuge consists of more than 200 square miles of Everglades habitat and is home to the American alligator and the endangered Everglades snail kite, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A preservation group dedicated to the Loxahatchee refuge caught photos of the rescue crew heading out to find the woman.
“Don’t know details of how encounter went down. Personally- NOT a big fan of inflatables near gators. We humans seem to expect a lot from wildlife,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.
In the past five years, Florida has had its share of alligator attacks, but none has proved fatal. According to Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were seven attacks last year, but that’s far less than the recent record high, in 2001, when three people were killed by alligators and 16 others were injured.