Alligator Bites Arm Off Snorkeler

Thursday, July 14, 2011
From South Carolina:  

 Summer, 2007: They were feasting on roast pork and dancing around the picnic table at Lake Moultrie when a man in snorkel gear stumbled through the tree line, grasping at his left shoulder where his arm used to be.

Blood gushed from between his fingers. “Call my wife, call my wife,” the man said through a snorkel mask.

Five nurses who were among those at the gathering quickly laid the man on the ground. They put ice on his wound, instructed him to take deep breaths and told him stories to keep him awake.

One of the picnickers, Jerome Bien, traced the bloody trail through the trees and to the shore where he saw a pool of blood in the sand. About 25 feet out in the water in front of him, the eyes of a giant alligator stared back. The victim’s arm remained clenched in its jaws. 

Officers from the state’s Department of Natural Resources shot the 550 pound reptile, cut it open, and removed Hedden’s arm from its stomach, then placed the arm in a picnic cooler and rushed it to the hospital with a police escort. 

Doctors decided against attempting to reattach the arm, however.