A Florida firefighter and adventurer lived to tell the tale after he was attacked head-on by an alligator while he was swimming in Lake Thonotosassa, Florida, viral video shows.
Juan-Carlos La Verde, owner of Defeat X Adventure, was shooting an instructional video for his company when an alligator approximately 12 feet in length attacked his head and upper torso.
In a blog post, La Verde described how he instantly realized it was a gator when he felt the teeth clamp down on his skull.
“My entire head and upper chest were inside her mouth. Then she bit down and I felt the teeth pierce my flesh. There was a loud popping sound, then instinct took over,” he wrote.
Drone footage shows La Verde quickly swim away from the gator and back to the nearest dock, where someone was able to call 911 and transport him to the hospital.
Speaking to Storyful, La Verde said that he hopes the footage does not show a “hateful attack” but rather how the reptile was able to give him “clear new direction” to his life.
While he suffered multiple fractures to the skull and jaw, and underwent a six-hour surgery, La Verde is now on the road to recovery.
“God is good and miracles happen more often than we think. They are just not often video-recorded with a drone,” he said. Credit: Juan-Carlos La Verde via Storyful