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. weezer

    I'm hoping the Casey Anthony jurors go on a swimming trip together (with Casey, of course).

    Swimming with Gators. Only in Florida. You people ever hear of a swimming pool? Ya' do have options.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Can we stop this....seriously you people are a waste of bandwidth. You continually show your ignorance through your pointless comments.

      July 10, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Keke D

      @Weezer I know this boy from living in this town my whole life. He's a couple years older than me but we live iin a small town where We have no where to hang at like a local swimming pool or mall to keep us busy. I have a swimming pool but everybody is always down on the river. It's like the closest thing we have to going to the beach being in the water tanning and just being with friends on summer days. We know about the Gators but they never really bite anyone. Remaining people please pray for Kaleb he's in very good sprits thanks 🙂

      July 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Leigh

    When you swim in a river where gators live, you can be attacked by a gator. I hope they don't go on some stupid gator killing spree, which they always do, like when someone gets eaten by a shark in the ocean. I feel bad for the kid, but I won't blame the animal.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      If you would do 5mins of research you would know that alligators are protected and have seasons. Killing one without a tag is ILLEGAL.

      July 10, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Umm, no they do not go on some sort of gator killing spree after someone is attacked. They will try to find the specific gator that did it since it clearly has lost any instinctual aversion to humans. Nothing to do with revenge, just good sense. We swim with thousands of gators all the time and most have no interest in people, especially the size of a 17 year old. This gator has probably been fed by humans or perhaps just happened to have an attack instinct triggered when it was hungry, but that is rare for a human to attract the interest of a normal gator.

      July 10, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • MAria

      @leigh, they found the gator that took his arm and it was killed so that should be the end of it.

      July 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Badly-Bent


    July 10, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. freshnewblog

    I would like to send this child a care package if any one wants to send me his address.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. mgee

    hey lefty-eye rekin mhaybee yew sholdnota bin swimin there–whadaya thinke?

    July 10, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. JB!

    Battered and fried, gator is pretty good. I wonder if the gator was white hispanic tho. Ya know what would be cool, if they made a pair of boots out of the gator and gave them to the boy

    July 10, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nick

    And after the paramedics arrived and asked him what happened Fred said " I went swimming, and a gator bit off my arm. Other than that I'm stumped".....

    July 10, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dean

    Dad, I'm bored, what can we do today? Well son, how bout goin after some gators? Sounds good Pa! Pack up your Banjo a six pack of Old Milwaukee's and your cross bow and lets go get em!! " Deliverence" ring a bell???

    July 10, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • rennie

      wow, that was hilarious, ha....ha.........yikes how's grade three ?

      July 12, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. mmanr1918

    poor alligator paid with his life the stupid imprudence of this foolish boy, the same happen in seminole county one honest man are into the big problem for the way the young boy start and finish his life

    July 10, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Cecilia

      Dumb kid or dunse parents. They know there are aligators in the water and let the kid go take a swim? Mindless!

      July 10, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gurgi

    Kinda like swimming in the ocean, a sharks kitchen. Rivers in florida are a gator's kitchen. Swim in their kitchen, you can't get mad if they decide to serve you up.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. maxx

    Please people everyone in the south swim in rivers and lakes all the time, just like people swim in the ocean and there are sharks..

    July 10, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tebojockey

    The alligator was heard to comment that the teen tasted like chicken.....

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

      Frankly, this is the only humorous comment so far. Possibly tasteless, but funny.

      July 10, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. snowdogg

    Hope this isn't used as an excuse to go on a gator killing rampage.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    To the majority that posted hurtful comments, you've gotta be kidding me! What is the world coming too when a boy can suffer so bad and you lame, lazy and dumb people find humor in it. I so wish that you all could be tracked down, sitting behind your PC's (hiding), spreading hate and stupidity. Hopefully either yourself and or someone you love will encounter something that will cause hurt and pain for the rest of your life and then I want you to think back as to the comments you spread. Stupid, stupid, stupid, so sick of you stupid people, have some compassion.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • silent

      Relax Jim, might as well make the best of a bad siituation. Sure the kid would be smiling reading some of these comments

      July 10, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      It is trajic Jim, but sometimes humor really is the best medicine. It's a rough world we live in, we'd all go crazy if we didn't laugh.

      July 10, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • tom

      So, what you're sayin' is that we are STUPID?

      July 10, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Gurgi

      I would have thought the stupid person was the one that chose to go swimming with aligators???? Kinda like going swimming with sharks then are suprised when you lose a leg???

      July 10, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Exactly. How can you all be willing to write comments which could cause someone to suffer hurt? For that offense, (and with no apparent sense of irony) Jim hopes that you suffer something causing hurt and pain for the rest of your lives. Be like Jim, demonstrate your moral superiority and sense of of compassion by wishing terrible harm to others. Teach us, oh Jim! We need to get this right. Should we wish a broken spine, an impalement, or perhaps a debilitating car crash on those who type words we do not like? Or is that going too easy on them? You haven't given us sufficient guidance on how to properly teach compassion.

      "Distrust all those in whom the urge to punish is strong."

      July 14, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. PushingBack

    Stupid kid was swimming in the Caloosahatchee River. For those not familiar with Florida, it is just north of the Everglades and it is infested with alligators. I have friends that have a house right on the river in Labelle and you can't go there and not see a bunch of them. Maybe he should smear honey all over his remaining arm and then run through an area dense in grizzlies – then we can put a few bears down too because of this knucklehead.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • silent

      Too bad Trayvon Martin didn't swim there, then we would have nothing to talk about..and George wouyld be a free man..less gators lonly like white meat

      July 10, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • silent

      Too bad Trayvon Martin didn't swim there..

      July 10, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
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