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. rad666

    Gator just doing what gators do.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Not really.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • addressingstupidignorantpeople

      RESEARCH will do you some good buddy.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Flori-Duh

    Ok. So he KNOWS about gators... and still swims in swamps... NOT TOO BRIGHT... and the Darwinian Award for losing an arm needlessly goes to...

    July 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      He knows about gators which is why he swam there and also why he survived an attack by an eleven foot reptile in its home environment. He will go on to have a family and reproduced. He won that Darwinian struggle.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      " Langdale was swimming with friends in in the Caloosahatchee River". Who gets a "not to bright" award? What swamp are you referring to. The article I read clearly defines he was swimming in a river.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Antonio

      @MarkinFL|

      Let's hope the idiot doesn't reproduce. Your statement is rather silly.

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

      In what way is it silly?

      July 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. foxglove

    I live here in SW Florida....you can just pretty well be sure if their in a pond of water, regardless of size, there is probably at least on gator in it. They are predators and they can wait days until something comes along.....and then it is champ. They are very dangerous once they get about 5 ft long.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    I live in an area where there are more alligators than you can count and we have a piddly month long season where a few hundred are killed. We have turned over OUR, yes I said it – OUR habitat to them and shouldn't be surprised when Canadian walking along a water retention pond in my neighborhood disappears and parts of her are found in the stomach of an alligator a few days later. They need to be 'managed' (read killed) better and more often.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      You clearly live in the wrong state. You might consider moving to a less "dangerous" locale......

      July 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gator Baitor

    Too bad Casey Anthony doesn't go swimmin' in that old gator lake in FL.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cynthia R.

      Sounds good to me!

      July 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PoorAlligator

    So, an innocent alligator dies because the kid was stupid... ok... Florida ain't too bright on the scale of things...

    July 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • addressingstupidignorantpeople

      You aren't either hun.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rockett51

      Hey doh doh bird. The gator tasted human flesh. It would attack again if given the opportunity.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. FloridaIsLame

    "Champ" or "Chomp"??? Spell much ... Florida boy...

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

      Lol do you?

      July 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • addressingstupidignorantpeople

      bite=chomp=champ; chew.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jose S.

    LOL! ROTFLMFAO

    Can anyone read this without laughing? "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,"

    "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."

    ROTFFLMFAO.....

    When he turns 21 he will tell say to his friend, "Here, hold my beer and I will show you how it happened!" Woops! There goes the other arm!

    LOL...

    July 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      I pray you never have to lose an appendage. But then again maybe if you did you would be a little more sensitive about it. Stupid ass.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla Vazq

      @Kristen

      Yes, we should be sensitive towards stupid people! Duh...How many tattoos will buy you a drink at the local redneck watering hole?

      July 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Reading posts from ignorant people trying to make themselves feel smarter by running other people down would be amusing if it were not so sad.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla M.

      @MarkinFL

      LOL...funny! NASCAR comes on any moment.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Thank you for another example.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      @Carla Vazq
      ok since you went racial....why don't you go eat a taco, stuff 500 people into a small car, do the mexican hat dance or whatever it is you wet backs do. Oh yea and when your family is swimming to america through the rio grande make sure they watch out for all them critters that might get them! Oh honey, us "backwoods rednecks" are so much better at racial slurs than you!

      July 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 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 comparison.
    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 would be idiots (or from Florida) to swim there."

    July 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAH......
      Do you really think that just because you do not see them that there are no sharks nearby?!?!?!
      Wow. They close the beach when there are enough sharks making themselves known in the area where people are swimming.
      Take a helicopter ride on ANY day over Daytona beach and look at all the sharks swimming near swimmers........
      Like gators, sharks rarely attack.
      However, if I know there are Bull sharks close by I'm out of there....

      July 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      Ok then explain the car crash scenario? Aww, not as bright as you thought you were are you. Maybe if you were from Florida you might have a little common sense 🙂

      July 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla Vazq

      @slowgun

      LOL...interesting fact. High school drop out rates! Florida isn't doing very well. Google "High School Graduation Rates in the United States"

      They would rather go swimming and watch TV than go to school.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla Vazq

      @Kristen

      Exactly! You said it! Common sense! No go back into the water and troll for a bite...

      Kristen

      "Ok then explain the car crash scenario? Aww, not as bright as you thought you were are you. Maybe if you were from Florida you might have a little common sense"

      "if you were from Florida you might have a little common sense"...not!

      July 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      @Carla Vazq
      Yea and you go hide in your house afraid to live life

      July 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slowgun

      Driving cars is a part of life...swimming in a rivers that you know is invested with gators isn't...

      It really doesn't require too much intelligence to think. "Hey, there are gators in this water, if I go for a dip, they might eat me"

      July 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      I assume you feel the exact same way about the ocean and the forest?

      July 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slowgun

      "Yea and you go hide in your house afraid to live life"

      Kristen, so if we're smart enough to know not to go swimming in waters that are invested with gators we're too afraid to live our lifes?
      You go ahead and swim with gators and you won't live a life...but I least they'll say you were not afraid to live your life...stupid, yes, but afraid, no...(great logic)

      July 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Simply fear from ignorance. You use loaded terms like "infested" and have absolutely no understanding of alligator behavior and yet you want to judge everyone else?

      July 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slowgun

      "I assume you feel the exact same way about the ocean and the forest?"

      Yes, actually, I do.
      If I go to the beach and find out that there are sharks in the water there...I'll go somewhere else.
      If I go to the forest and find out that there have been bear sightings, I'll go somewhere else...I know it must sound crazt to you, but it's called using your brain.

      These kids KNEW there were gators in the water, and they still went in the water.
      If you come over to my swimming pool (you might call it a cement pond) and I tell you there are piranhas in the pool, are you still going in the pool? You know, are you still going to live your life?

      July 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slowgun

      "Simply fear from ignorance. You use loaded terms like "infested" and have absolutely no understanding of alligator behavior and yet you want to judge everyone else?"

      Hello...from the article;

      "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."

      So who are you saying is ignorant and hast absolutely no understanding of alligator behavior? Me or the kids that went swimming during a time when gator look at any commotion in the water as food?

      July 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. HPNIII

    Makes for good reading but just isn't true. The part about "Swamp People" is a total fabrication, I watch it routinely. They never talk about how to prevent a alligator from bitting you, or how to get out its grip. They teach you how to shoot one the back of the head with a 22 rifle from a boat so let's skip the theatrics of a boy Crocodile Dundee.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      Swamp MEN not Swamp People, two different shows

      July 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      WTH is gator water? I drink Gatorade, does that count?

      July 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rockett51

    Thank God it was just the boys arm. He's very blessed to be able to share his story.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allah Almighty

      If the boy was truly blessed by your false god, then why did he get attacked in the first place?

      HA HA HA HALALALALALALALALALALAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

      July 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla Vazq

      @Rockett51

      LOL...blessed to tell...do tell!

      "Hey man the train isn't coming fast, lets pull on the tracks and stop it..."hold my beer and I'll show you how"...

      July 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      Shame he was not blessed with brains enough not to swim in Gator water.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Really

    OK glad the guys is alright but STOP swimming in water with gators people. It does not take a rocket scientist to know not to swim in Gator water, wow just wow.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      How about "shark water"? Or car roads....

      July 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sorry but

      MarkinFL
      I did not read that anyone was mad at the gator.

      UH they killed the Gator – seems mad at Gator to me.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      That is only because you do not understand alligators. This specific alligator has shown itself to be a danger to humans. This is a rare thing and the danger can only be removed by getting rid of the gator. There are hundreds more in the same area that will not be bothered because they are not an obvious threat. This has nothing to do with anger or revenge. It is a sad thing that this animal needed to be removed. However, there is no shortage of alligators and this one is very dangerous.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla M.

      Duh....MarkinFL

      That is only because you do not understand alligators.

      What is there to understand? They bite! They eat arms and legs and other parts!

      What is so hard to understand? Stay away and you won't lose an arm!

      The "car roads" was an adventure I will tell my friends...you said it.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gurgi

    You enter the critter's kitchen, you can't complain when you become lunch. 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 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      I did not read that anyone was mad at the gator.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gurgi

      @Mark, they musta been mad at it. They killed the poor thing.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Gurgi, you clearly have knowledge of alligators or how they are managed. Killing the gator was purely practical. Besides the possibility of retrieving and reattaching the arm ( unlikely, due to the way it was removed, but worth checking), this gator has proved itself to be specifically dangerous to humans. That is unusual and it is too dangerous to just leave it there.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sorry but

    If you know gators live in the water you are swimming in and you should then don't swim in it. You have no right to blame a predator for doing what predators do in the place that they live. Ever hear of a pool, fresh clean water that you can see if gators are in before getting in made just for human swimming. Swamp = wild area perfect for wild animals some of which are predators and in southern areas where gators are present gators are usually present. This has been a public service announcement, oh and do not put hands under running lawn mower OK.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Well, that was a pretty useless public disservice announcement.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sorry but

      Strikes me that this is the exact reason they have to put warning on lawn mowers about not putting hands or feet under running mower..

      July 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      No, not really.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slowgun

      "Ever hear of a pool,"

      Sorry But, I'm pretty should the word "pool" is confusing her. Try using "cement pond" instead.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. james

    What were you doing swimming in gator infested (and dirty) caloosahatche river....anyone who lives anywhere near that river knows the deal !

    July 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlkaSeltzaaaa!

      If you havent noticed in the last several months, Florida people are dumb as a box of rocks.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • dumb

      Headline: Idiot teen boy learned absolutely nothing from "Swamp Men" as demonstrated by intentionally swimming in alligator infested river!

      July 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • BermudaTriangle

      Killing another animal for the stupidity of a Human...I'm really starting to believe less and less in evolution as we continuously prove how inherently dumb most people have remained generation after generation! Too bad the alternative to Evolution is as dumb as the kid who basically jumped into the Alligator's mouth and cried foul!

      July 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Effed

      He was testing his "Gator Knowledge" as a mythbuster. And it worked... you can sacrifice your arm to save yourself. Myth Busted!

      July 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      You did mean myth not busted, plausible, right? Ignorance.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
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