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. addressingstupidignorantpeople

    Yes bb there are other things to do, but Kaleb and his friends wanted to go for a swim and no there are no swimming pools or movie theaters. Moore Haven, look it up.

    July 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ruth C

    there are gators here in Texas in certain areas and I would never get into the lake with them period.

    July 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. addressingstupidignorantpeople

    Bob Baden BINGO build us one buddy! LOL!

    July 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rich 3

    Gator getting even for all the red neck shows about killin gators.......just sayin

    July 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      So, gators are watching television now?

      July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jobob

      Why is the rest of the world allowed to make racist remarks towards white people such as "redneck" or "hillbilly" but the instant a white person says anything derogitory it's a racist remark and the whole wolrd shuns that person?

      July 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Because redneck and hillbilly aren't specifically racist. They are regional and though they may generally refer to people of a specific race in the region (though hillbilly can cross that boundary easily) it is more about socio-economics/education and locale.
      Redneck and hillbilly is more of a condition than anything else. The terms are also being thrown about quite loosely here by some very ignorant posters (who would be called rednecks if they lived in the south), but people in the south are used to that.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alyssa

    Why people swim in lakes known to have alligators in them is beyond me. Is this a Florida thing to do? How dense do you have to be to swim with gators?

    July 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla Vazq


      Yes, this is about someone in Florida. Rednecks do these kind of things. "Here hold my beer and I'll show ya".

      July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      About as dense as people that swim in the ocean with sharks. Or hike in the woods with bears and cougars. Or get in a car unnecessarily.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      yea, it's called people from Florida grow up around gators and we aren't scared to live our lives in fear of being attacked. Yes there is a risk in swimming in bodies of water where gators live, but have you ever been to the beach? Well guess what? There's sharks in the ocean. Ever drove in a car? Guess what? Car wrecks are VERY common. But hey lets all stay inside our houses with the doors locked because something out there in that big scary world might hurt us! Glad us "Floridians" aren't scared to live our lives!

      July 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • detada

      It certainly seems really dangerous. When I lived in New Orleans, I would often see a guy who drove his van onto the public golf course at City Park. Using an air hose attached to a pump in the van, he would jump in the ponds to retrieve golf balls and then sell them. I saw some pretty nice size gators in those ponds, so I asked him about getting in the water with them. He was very confident the gators would not mess with him, so he ignored them.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slowgun

      "Yes there is a risk in swimming in bodies of water where gators live, but have you ever been to the beach? Well guess what? There's sharks in the ocean."

      Please stop with this stupid examples. If sharks are spotted around a beach, they close the beach. If people know the waters they want to swim in are shark invested, they don't swim there (unless I guess you're from Florida)

      "Ever drove in a car? Guess what? Car wrecks are VERY common."

      Another stupid analogy. These kids want swimming for recreation purposes. We drive cars out of necessity to get from one place to another. The kids took a risk, made a choice...turns out it was a bad choice with too much risk.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Slowgun, what a load of hooey.
      Sharks are always nearby the same way as gators. If they seem to be getting to obvious and close then people leave the water, much like gators. And your absurd comment about cars is even more laughable. People use cars unnecessarily every day. Do you go the movies? Eat out at restaurants? Go on vacation? Extra trip to the store that could have been combined with another? Etc. Etc. Etc.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Caiha

    Once an animal realizes how easy humans are to make into a snack, there's no way to get them to stop, you have to put them down. I'm all for the humaine treatment of animals, but if you don't point humans first... you don't qualify as one.

    July 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ArchieDeBunker

    To swim or not to swim
    That is the question!
    Whether 'tis nobler to lose an arm
    Or one's whole torso,
    Perhaps the latter, because, you know
    Then you would be "ahead."

    July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim Weix

    Send more tourists. Are 'gators are starving down here!
    Seriously, these critters are interesting and you owe it to yourself to get an alligator permit and go 'gator hunting.
    It is exciting, but hire an experienced guide. It ain't like PeTAland, where all the animals love you.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MarkinFL

    Usually follows a lot of not thinking.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kandi

    No problem! Someone will buy him a beer to hear his stupid story and he will get drunk and go home and sit next to the TV with some cheap beer and watch reality TV and fart loud and his mother will come in to see who did it and she will laugh and fart louder than he and then his uncle will come in to see who did it and he will laugh loud and fart loud and then go back to the bedroom with his sister and make another stupid kid like this one.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      Yea maybe all that will happen....or maybe him and all of his "redneck" family members, ME BEING ONE OF THEM, will come and find your ignorant ass and show you what us "backwoods hillbillies" can do 🙂 Bless your heart!

      July 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve C.

      My money is on Kandi.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Antonio

      @ Kristen

      You people can't get away from NASCAR long enough to do much harm to anyone! Go to the local bar and show the drunks your tattoo and collect your free beer.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. d

    human meat is the most nutritious meat on earth

    July 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • blueyeddevil

      sounds pretty gay

      July 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rolyat

    Sure – kill the gator. He was in his own environment.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      It wasn't killed as revenge. It was killed because very few gators will attack a human and removing the few that will can save many lives in the long run without harming the gator population at all. It is a very practical response. Now if more humans would stop molesting gators we would have even fewer attacks. Anyone feeding a gator is training it to kill people.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JohnQPubliqu

    "Hey, ya'll.....watch this..." comes to Florida!

    July 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Love Rhino

    I was going to take off my own arm before a 'gator could once but I took an arrow in the knee

    July 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL


      July 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Antonio

      White people have swimming pools.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michelle

    Gators are everywhere in Florida. When I drove through there back in March, you could see them along the road. I've always found them to be very creepy. That said, you can't live your life in a bubble. The kid saved his life by thinking quickly, I don't think that I could have done that.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
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