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Man Survives Alligator Attack by Stabbing It With a Screwdriver

A South Carolina man is lucky to be alive after an alligator attacked him in a river where he was diving. Will Georgitis told local news that he was diving last week for fossilized shark teeth in Cooper River, when he surfaced, only to find an aggressive alligator beelining it toward him.

Georgitis says the gator was moving so quickly to close the 20-foot gap between them that it seemed like it was “almost hydroplaning on the top [of the water].” He had no time to get to safety before the alligator bit Georgitis’s arm, which he was holding up to block his face.

In the minutes that followed, Georgitis made some decisions that saved his life. First, since he expected the gator would death roll him to try to get his arm off, he latched the rest of his body to the gator’s head and neck. (Crocodiles and alligators use a move called a death roll to drown and/or dismember large prey items that are fighting back.)

The gator pulled him underwater and rolled, but Georgitis rolled with him. He then stabbed the animal in the eye with the screwdriver he was using for his riverbed fossil search. The gator still didn’t let go of the man’s arm, and it then dove him to the bottom of the river.

Georgitis told WBCD 2 that he had very little air left in his SCUBA tank, and he thought he was going to die down there.

A Second Chance at Life

Out of air, 50 feet down in the murk, Georgitis continued to stab at the alligator, which still had his arm in its jaws and was now bearing down on top of him. Georgitis struck true, possibly sticking his screwdriver in a soft spot of the gator’s jaw, and he somehow got free. He’s not entirely sure how.

After resurfacing, his arm dangling “like a noodle,” Georgitis says a person in a boat helped him get to shore, and then to a hospital.

Watch as Georgitis tells part of the story:

If you’d like to help Georgitis with his medical bills, you can send him a Venmo @William-Georgitis-1.

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