25-year-old Jeffrey Heim was attacked by an alligator when he dived for fossil shark teeth on Sunday in the Myakka River in Florida. He survived the attack with a skull fracture and 34 stitches to close the wound.
Home is now on the road to recovery, and to CNN He talked about the dramatic minutes.
– I felt as if something was very heavy and soon he tells the channel.
The 25-year-old initially thought he had been hit by a boat propeller, until he saw a crocodile in front of him.
– It happened so quickly. He explains that there is nothing I can do to defend myself عن Fox 35.
biting in the head
An experienced diver says that he dived into the river several times, and went into the water in a crowded area near a restaurant. Before diving, he spent ten minutes looking for crocodiles, but found nothing.
The plan was to free-dive the fossil sharks’ teeth to the bottom of the river. After only 45 seconds, the crocodile struck.
When the diver ascended to the surface to get air, the crocodile began to bite him, before he could finally turn away and return to the river bank.
A former firefighter who was sitting in the restaurant received first aid kits and bandaged his head, while other guests at the restaurant called emergency services on 911.
– It’s so scary when you ask someone, “Is it all right with me?” They hesitate. They are just trying to calm you down, and you can hear in their voice that it’s worse than what they’re telling you. It’s scary, Heim told Fox 35.
afraid for life
After the attack, Heim felt completely exhausted and just wanted to sleep. But he still feared for his life, and believed that he would die.
He told CNN he has tried to sound bright about the dangerous situation, and is trying to calm the mood with some jokes. However, he almost received a religious revelation when he received the results of a CT scan at the hospital. He realized how lucky he was that he was still alive.
– I cried a lot that day. I couldn’t stop crying and thanked God.
He also says he spent a day and a half in the hospital, but is now on his way to recovery. The swelling has decreased and he is now taking antibiotics to avoid infection.
– It definitely has to be better
to me Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC)The crocodile becomes most active when the mating season begins in April and when temperatures rise.
– Maybe you were too comfortable diving during the mating season. Heim says, I should have known better.
Despite the serious injuries, the diver says he hopes he won’t kill the alligator.
The 25-year-old says diving for fossils is his way of relaxing. Much of what he finds goes into his personal collection, but some of his teeth he turns into jewelry he resells.
Heim further says that he plans to continue diving when he is healthy again, but wants to get away from the Myakka River.
An FWC spokesperson wrote in an email to CNN that a crocodile hunter has been dispatched to investigate the incident.
The spokesman said that a 190 cm long female crocodile was removed from the area, and the hunter is working to remove another nearby crocodile.
Alligators caught in the United States and the hunter’s property are usually killed. Then it is common for them to sell crocodile meat and skin. Sometimes they sell it to zoos or sanctuaries.
The FWC estimates that there are approximately 1.3 million alligators in Florida, and According to the conservation committee The state witnessed twelve crocodile attacks in 2020.