Stranded Kayakers Rescued After Alligator Nearly Flips Inflatable Kayak
OutdoorHub Reporters 02.20.20
A group of kayakers in Florida were enjoying their day on the water, when things started to unravel in a hurry, resulting in a rescue mission by Seminole County police authorities.
Per the report from WFTV9, Allison Havelin, her friend and her friend’s kids were floating down the Econ (Econlockhatchee) River when they encountered an alligator in the water. This is when things started to go wrong, and it was only going to get worse..
“We saw what we presumed to be a fish or something jump ahead,” Havelin said. “As we came up to it, a gator must have been trying to go after it in some regard. The gator came up, and it brushed against our kayak, and we didn’t tip over, but we came pretty close, and the tail of the gator came across the (backside) of the kayak.”
In the meantime, the inflatable kayak the young children were in had somehow been damaged, and they were taking in water. All six of them were then forced to pile into the two remaining kayaks the best they could, and try to make it to shore.
“We divided it up as best as possible to make the two kayaks have as equal weight as possible,” Havelin said.
Once they landed, Havelin was able to reach 911 dispatchers, who were able to locate her through the GPS on her phone. Havelin also used one other tool on her phone to help make it easier for authorities to spot the stranded kayakers from the air..
“Because she had a good charge on her phone, she was able to use the flashlight feature and shine it up at us,” Seminole County Sheriff’s spokesman Bob Kealing said. “It just further helped determine where she was.”
Looking back, Havelin says she will likely take a miniature hiatus from kayaking, but added the group will probably go out again.
“We will probably do it again, we’ll be more strategic and plan the day a little better.”