OKATIE, S.C. (WSAV) – A Lowcountry woman is recovering in a local hospital after an alligator attack — and a local man is being called a hero for helping her survive the ordeal.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources tells News 3 the 75-year-old woman was trimming plants near the edge of a pond inside Calawassie Island when she was attacked by a 10-foot gator.
The alligator pulled her into the water.
A man in a golf cart passing by saw her in distress but didn’t know an alligator was involved. He jumped in the water fought off the gator and pulled her to safety.
The woman and her good samaritan have not been identified yet.
She suffered several broken bones and lacerations to her leg and is recovering at a local hospital. The alligator was euthanized.
This is just the latest attack in the Palmetto State.
Back in May, a woman was killed on Kiawah Island also when she was grabbed by a gator near a pond.
“You said she’s being attacked by an alligator? . . . YES. He dragged her in the water!”
The 911 call explained the sadness of another deadly attack, this one on Hilton Head Island in 2018.
Cassandra Cline wasn’t as lucky. The 45-year-old woman was walking her dog near a Sea Pines Plantation pond back in 2018 when the gator grabbed the leash and dragged both Cline and her dog in.
The dog survived but she didn’t.
Reptile experts in the Lowcountry say you have to keep a close eye and respect an alligator’s “turf.”
“You have to keep a reasonable distance. I’d say 20 feet from the edge of the water that way if one did approach you, you’d have a head start on getting away from them. What they do is lunge at you and go right back in the water,” said Jack Douglas, gator expert. “And that barking is a calling to them, especially the right size dog. They will wanna grab them.”
More than half of all South Carolina alligator attacks have happened in Beaufort County.
Half of those have occurred in the last decade.