Watch the Heart-Stopping Moment an Alligator Slams a Kayaker Into a River

Jake Smith
Photo credit: Youtube/Peter Joyce
Photo credit: Youtube/Peter Joyce

From Prevention

  • A new video shows an alligator attacking a kayaker in a swampy section of the Waccamaw River in North Carolina.

  • The animal slammed the kayak, sending the man into the water.

  • The man got away unharmed but now has “a different appreciation of the animal.”

Social distancing guidelines have turned many of us into hikers, campers, and kayakers this summer, but a terrifying new video out of North Carolina might be enough to keep us home for the rest of the year. On Sunday, an alligator rammed a kayaker out of his boat—and a camera on his helmet captured the entire thing.

Peter Joyce was kayaking alone in a swampy section of the Waccamaw River in North Carolina over the weekend when an alligator rushed him, slamming into his kayak and sending him directly into the water.

“I thought I heard a fish jump to my left—turned out not to be a fish,” Joyce told WECT News. “About three feet from the kayak I made out the head of the gator and that was it, I had no time to react.”

At around the 50-second mark in the video, the alligator appears on the left side of the screen, just observing Joyce. It slowly moves toward him, then rushes the kayak, knocking into it with enough force to overturn it. Joyce reacts quickly, using fallen branches to push himself out of the water and regain his bearings. Not long after, he quickly paddles away.

Joyce believes that he encountered a mother alligator trying to protect her eggs by scaring him off. “She is not the only one there,” Joyce wrote in the comment section under his video. “During mating season the nearby canal is unreal!”

For his part, Joyce is no longer “complacent” about alligator sightings. “I have a different appreciation of the animal,” he told CNN. “Once it comes after you one good time, you look at it a little differently.”

Joyce paddled away shaken, but unharmed, armed with one heart-stopping video. And if you’e wondering, yes, he says he plans to kayak that part of the river again—albeit at a different time of year.

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