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

    Human's have a false sense of superiority over the other creation.

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

    Humans have a false sense of superiority over the other creation.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hornsea 1

    I have lived in Florida for almost 18 years. Alligators are not a novelty – they are potentially viscous & dangerous.
    If the Alligator hadn't got him, a snake may have.
    Swimming in a river in Florida is dangerous.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JO

    UH –he panicked and lost his arm. #1. Don't swim in Florida fresh water. #2. The alligator may have let go..Or he could have used the same trick to make the gator let go..So Swamp Men did nothing for him..

    July 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hunter

      Oooh, you're soo smart!!

      July 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MAria

    tHAT IS ONE BRAVE YOUNG MAN!!!! God blessed him w/ the strength and courage to NOT give up and let that Gator have him for a meal....The creaotrs of Swamp Men need this Kid on their show as a feature...WOW

    July 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kandi

      The rednecks killed the gator to get the arm to serve it up for lunch while watching NASCAR reruns to see who won.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • frackle

      It is women like you who give women a bad name.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slogun


      Your right, and I heard the creators of Swamp Men and looking for stupid teenagers who go swimming with gators only to lose an arm...ratings week is coming up.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. zoolu

    Florida: the birthplace of Casey Anthony, and the fools who set her free.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slogun

      and people too stupid to understand how to use a voting machine.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. db

    "Tastes like chicken", said Ally!

    July 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nick

    yes these discussion boards can be quite deadly!

    July 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. disagreement

    This guy sounds like a BA. Wish I was that tough.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jataka

    Don't ever pull if your arm is in an animals mouth. Poke its eyes.

    July 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John Land

    Why did he swim in the river in Florida? Wasn't that stupid?

    July 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MAria

    This is in response to some of the people whi were trying to insult me as I was posting a compliment to the young man..Why do I have to be stupid for calling the man brave?? OR givng women a bad name??? I mean I am a Fla resident and I am NOT ashamed of that the same way you are NOT ashamed to be a resident of the state you reside in. Would i have personally been swimming in that water? Probably NOT but the fact is the kid did and he got attacked by an 11-foor gator and survived. Had that gator started the 'death roll' or took him under he would of drowned. MOst of us on this comment board would be dead is the sad fact if we were in that kid's shoes. I can promise you if a gator comes after me I would probably panic and be dead. So I give the kid props for his courage to survive...To call someone stupid is sad you don't know me I could be your 'boss' or supervisor you don't know? You don't know what my background is, so if you disagree w/ a comment then state your arguements but don't go to personal attacks becasue that all your brain can think to say to properly or improperly express your views...

    July 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marko

      MAria, Try to ignore them. Don't get involved. Mostly fools here.

      July 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lol!

      Put the computer down and pick up a dictionary!!

      July 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Don't take it too personally. The majority of people who post on here don't have reasoned comments to make. It's like graffiti – their pleasure is in antagonising anonymously.

      July 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatorbait

      I would call the young lad courageous and a risk-taker. Whether or not he knew he was taking a risk, I do not know. I commend his ability to survive. I agree that it is inappropriate to call him stupid. I wish him good luck and hope he can do well with an artificial forearm and hand.

      July 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MAria

    @SMH, you are right and they are even faster moving on land. They don't understand...everyone is an expect on this comment board...geez. The eye thing I thnk they were thinking about of you are atacked by a shark.

    July 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ERH

    Swimming in a lake or river in FL is quite normal. However getting attacked by a big gator while swimming is not rare but it is not normal either. Gators only know how to do three things, eat, sleep and have little gators. You get close to a momma gator while nesting or a big bull and they will get you. The young man is lucky he gave up an arm, a leg would not have torn off so easy and he would probably have died. Fast and solid action on his part.

    July 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Clete

    It seems to me that anyone with even a gram of common sense would know that swimming in a river that contains crocodiles isn't a very good idea. I feel sorry for him and wish him well, but he must have the I.Q. of a turd.

    July 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • xtof22

      The river didn't contain crocodiles. It had alligators. Who here has the IQ of a turd?

      July 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ernie

      Anyone who would mistake an alligator for a crocodile is obviously intellectually disabled.

      July 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      "he must have the I.Q. of a turd" says the guy who can't read the story and determine that the animal in question was an alligator.

      July 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • HighAngleHell

      Speaking of IQ's, It was not a Crocodile!!!

      July 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dmegson

      Alligator. Now who has the IQ of a turd?

      July 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • clete, you imbecile!

      clete, your fellow commentators have made excellent points about you being dumb. please retort.

      July 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
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