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Diver Survives Harrowing Alligator Attack in South Carolina

April 23, 2024




In a heart-stopping encounter beneath the murky waters of the Cooper River in South Carolina, diver Will Georgitis found himself locked in a life-or-death struggle with an alligator, his survival hinging on a split-second decision.

“I knew I was going to die right then and there,” Georgitis recounted to The Post and Courier, reflecting on the terrifying moment when the alligator clamped down on his arm, dragging him 50 feet deeper into the river’s depths.

Georgitis fought for his life, resorting to using the very tools of his trade—a screwdriver—to fend off the relentless predator.

With adrenaline coursing through his veins, Georgitis made a daring move, using sheer force to wrench his arm free from the alligator’s grip. “I put my feet up against him and just launched back as hard as I possibly could,” he explained to ABC’s Good Morning America.

Emerging from the water battered and broken, Georgitis was rushed to shore and then to the hospital, his arm mangled and in need of extensive medical attention. Despite the ordeal, he considers each moment thereafter a blessing, his resilience shining through in the face of adversity.

Georgitis, an avid diver known for hunting shark teeth and fossils in Charleston’s waters, had encountered alligators in the past, but none as aggressive as the one that targeted him on that fateful day. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is currently investigating the incident, highlighting the rarity of such attacks in the region.

South Carolina, home to an estimated 100,000 alligators, imposes strict regulations on their management and protection, recognizing them as federally protected species. However, instances of alligator attacks, though infrequent, serve as a stark reminder of the potential dangers lurking beneath the surface.

Georgitis’s story echoes that of past victims, such as the snorkeler who, in 2007, fell victim to a 550-pound alligator in Lake Moultrie. As the injured snorkeler staggered ashore in search of help, five nurses attending a picnic nearby leaped into action to aid the snorkeler. Their expertise and compassion were instrumental in stabilizing the victim’s condition until paramedics arrived on the scene.


Credit: Associated Press

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