Teen uses 'Swamp Men' move to save self from alligator
Trappers pull an alligator from the water after a Florida teen lost an arm to a gator in an attack Monday.
July 10th, 2012
09:15 AM ET

Teen uses 'Swamp Men' move to save self from alligator

A Florida teenager lost part of his arm in an alligator attack on Monday, but the boy's family says the outcome could have been worse if the 17-year-old hadn't been a fan of the National Geographic show "Swamp Men."

Kaleb "Fred" Langdale was swimming with friends in in the Caloosahatchee River in Moore Haven in southwest Florida when an 11-foot alligator attacked, according to a report from CNN affliate WINK-TV.

"As soon as he'd seen Fred, the gator was coming after him. On top of the water, as fast as he could pedal, his tail was wagging back and forth, he was coming," Langdale's friend Gary Beck told WINK.

That's when the teen's TV gator knowledge kicked in, his sister, Rebecca Langdale, said in an interview with the Fort Myers News Press.

Rebecca, who visited her brother in the hospital, said he told her that as the alligator approached him he grabbed the skin under the animal's mouth to try to prevent it from biting him.

After preventing the initial attack, Fred tried to swim away from the gator, Rebecca Langdale said.

"When he turned to swim, it grabbed his arm," she said. "And he knew once it grabbed his arm, he was going to lose it."

"So he put both his feet on the alligator's head and pushed and pretty much took his own arm off before the alligator could," Rebecca said.

Langdale's aunt, LaDawn Hayes, said Fred learned the move from watching "Swamp Men," according to the News-Press.

"He knows if he offers (the gator) his arm, he won't take his torso. He was smart, he took the risk," another of Fred's friends, Matthew Baker, told WINK.

Beck told CNN affiliate WBBH that after freeing himself from the gator, Langdale called for help.

"He was waving saying, 'Call the paramedics! My arm is gone!'" WBBH quoted Beck as saying.

The gator was later caught and killed by trappers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The boy's arm was recovered, according to reports, but the doctors were unable to reattach it.

Glades County Sheriff Stuart Whiddon told WINK that gator attacks are rare in the area, but fish and wildlife officials said this is an active time of year for the reptiles.

"It's just after mating season, eggs are already laid, but the gators are still very active," WINK quoted Jeff Ardelean as saying. "Any type of commotion on the water is potential food in their eyes."

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Filed under: Alligators • Animals • Florida
soundoff (505 Responses)
  1. puckles

    LOL!!!!!!! You are supposed to capitalize "I." And it is "do" NOT "to." Take an English grammar class. You have to be the stupidest person I have ever come across.

    July 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nick

    TC

    you are exactly right. He is still a kid at 17 and doesn't respect the dangers around him. I bet he sure does now and i am sure the friends that were there with him do as well. Everyone makes their own decisions, we usually live and learn by making mistakes, unfortunately for this 17 year old kid, like many of us didn't listen to his parents and learned the hard way.

    July 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • puckles

      Your stupidity AMAZES me!! He is allowed to drive at 16, but cannot "respect the dangers around him" at 17. Unless he is mentally incompetent (which he most likely is) he can understand the dangers of alligator infested waters. He is a 17 year old man – NOT a child.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Ahhh the loaded "infested" word again. Ignorance with a capital "I".

      July 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gurgi

      Chances are he still thought he had that "S" on his chest that most male teenagers seem to get. They have it, at least until something happens to convince them that it is not a real "S."

      July 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Farrah

    So, CNN and other media outlets and in general, the American public is CELEBRATING this? The child went swimming in a Florida river and the alligator was KILLED for it? Where is the justice in that? This earth is not OURS to do with as we please. We live here together with animals and that alligator was doing the only thing it knew to do in HIS HOME. He was protecting it; or he was hungry. Either way, the alligator shouldn't have been killed for doing what is was suppose to do in the alligators own HOME. shame the family for not teaching the child that you do not go swimming a Florida river/pond because of alligators. He shouldn't have died but neither should have the alligator for simply living in his home. If those parents had an intruder in their home, they would have reacted in a similar manner.

    July 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • puckles

      AMEN!!

      July 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      An aligator that attackes a human and tastes human flesh is very likely to attack humans again. I understand you love aligators, but most love fellow human beings more. That aligator was now a threat to humans and had to be destroyed. If you can't undestand that – well you are living in your own non-reality world.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Go French kiss an alligator

      July 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ari3s

      Go back to PETA, hippy.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lori

      Wow... Really??????? Attacks are rare.... people swim in the lakes and rivers in Florida. You need to be aware yes, but I am sure he had swam there hundreds of times before.
      I do however agree its the alligators home...and its to bad the gator had to pay with his life, but be realistic, you could get attacked by a gator just hanging in your yard...

      July 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • EnoughAlready

      Please... He went swimming to cool off, the same thing millions of beach-goers do every day despite the sharks that live there. It is very sad that this boy lost his arm at such a young age and for a stranger to use his loss as an opportunity to stand on a soap box and champion alligator rights is absurd, not to mention disrespectful to what he and his family will be going thru. If you're so concerned for the poor hungry alligators, why don't you go jump in a lake?

      July 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nick

    Puckles

    buddy i would like for you to do me a favor. Please be careful while you are out in this cruel world. I would hate to read on CNN tomorrow that some D.B. died while texting and driving. thanks bud

    July 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • puckles

      Once again, the STUPIDEST hillbilly I have ever come across! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

      July 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    Why was this teenager swimming in a river with alegators? I would not go in the water anywhere if there was a remote chance of an alegator attack.

    July 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fillo

      Do you realize that all fresh water in Florida is likely to have gators?
      By your standard none would ever be able to go swimming.
      How about the beach? do you know about sharks?
      Do you still go to the beach?

      July 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Will

    Are you all serious?!? Do you have any experience living where this boy lives? Don't make a comment unless you truly understand. This boy, his friends, his family, and countless others have grown up with the SoFL wildlife all around them. They live their lives as they see fit. I don't hear them calling any of you stupid for keeping closed up in your "perfect" little holes. Wow...seriously. It is a tragedy that this happened, but it did. The boy lost his arm doing something he enjoyed. The gator was put down for the simple fact that it injured a human...and could begin to enjoy taking humans as prey...get a taste for us...and that is dangerous. Yes, this was unfortunate and probably could have been avoided, but...stuff happens. Please try to be more informed about some one's life before you make such ignorant comments.

    July 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lisaspups

    I am sorry the young man lost his arm. However, I am more sad that the alligator lost his/her life doing what alligators do because the young man and his friends decided to knowingly swim where they are mating and laying eggs. When are the innocent non-humans going to stop paying for the irresponsibility of the human race?

    July 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      You are MORE SAD THAT THE ALLIGATOR DIED - I hope this boy's family gets to meet you - after dark, in the swamp

      you should have your arm torn off

      July 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tobin

      AMEN! You are absolutely correct!

      July 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nick

    Will

    that was exactly it! People just dont understand the Florida life style.

    July 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I understand it is a stupid lifestyle

      July 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kristen

    If these people knew the real story, they would know that he lost his arm because he had the choice, his arm or his life. He even said he was thankful that the gator got him instead of one of his friends because he didn't know how they would've reacted and they may have died. He wasn't being a stupid, ignorant hick. He was being himself. All these hoity toity yankees are so afraid to live their lives that they stay indoors in a plastic bubble and will NEVER know what it is like to truly live. Yes he no longer has his arm but he does have his life and that is all that matters. He will be the first person to tell you that as soon as he heals he will be back in the water!

    July 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tobin

    Ed:

    Who says we have to "love" fellow humans more than animals? I for one am for the animals. It is HUMANS who are destroying this earth. If it came down to saving either you or an animal, I would save the animal. There is no love out there in this cruel world. You would kill me for a loaf of bread if you were starving.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kandi

      State IQ's ranked.

      39. FLORIDA...........................................................98.4

      40. GEORGIA...........................................................98.0

      41. TENNESSEE.......................................................97.7

      42. ARKANSAS.........................................................97.5

      43. ARIZONA...........................................................97.4

      44. NEVADA............................................................96.5

      45. ALABAMA...........................................................95.7

      46. NEW MEXICO......................................................95.7

      47. HAWAII..............................................................95.6

      48. CALIFORNIA........................................................95.5

      49. LOUISIANA..........................................................95.3

      50. MISSISSIPPI........................................................94.2

      51. FLORIDA (AGAIN)..............................................89.1

      July 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hope

    One lucky teen!

    If he hadn't sacrificed his arm, he would've been dragged to the bottom and drowned. We all know the rest of the scenario.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Coast Ranger

    Having been bit by a gator myself, I can only imagine this young man saying, "Hey y'all, watch this!". Nontheless, that was a hard lesson learned.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coast Ranger

      BTW, I somehow managed to outlive all the really dumb things I did growing up. Now the most dangerous thing I do is troll CNN's discussion board.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nick

    Tobin

    you state a very valid point! we are indeed destroying this world.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. puckles

    Ed:

    Human beings are a THREAT to themselves, the animals and the entire earth! It is HUMAN BEINGS who are making animals go extinct, not the other way around. You ignorant HUMAN BEINGS are really going to get yours in the end. The world is overpopulated with vile, polluting humans. If a gater takes one out it is no big deal. It is nothing in comparison to what mankind has done and is doing.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ari3s

      puckles is a spaceman, just an fyi. *tinfoil hat*

      July 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MrApplesauce

    Alligator is tasty... hope they gave it to his family.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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