LAKE WACCAMAW, N.C. — A man kayaking in North Carolina over the weekend recorded his frightening encounter with an alligator.
Peter Joyce put his kayak in near a dam on Lake Waccamaw on Sunday, expecting a quiet trip on the river. Then an alligator changed his plans.
“I thought I heard a fish jump to my left,” said Joyce. “Turned out not to be a fish. About three feet from the kayak, I made out the head of the gator and that was it. I had no time to react.”
“My mind was playing catch-up at that point. Basically, when I made out the head towards the front end of the kayak, it was kind of just a state of shock. As soon as it hit the kayak and went under, I was like what just happened.”
The force of the gator’s attack was enough to roll Joyce’s kayak and topple him into the water. Luckily, he was able to grab a fallen tree and pull himself upright. The gator left, and Joyce was unhurt.
This isn’t the first time Joyce has seen a gator during a paddling trip, but it is the first time one has ever charged at him.
It’s given him a newfound respect for the reptile’s power.
“You know, usually they would make a splash or they would move and make a ruckus in the water,” said Joyce. “But this was a continuous charge from about 20 feet away. So, it definitely made me think a little bit differently about what their capabilities are.”
Joyce thinks the gator became aggressive because it’s mating season and it could have been protecting its young. He plans to paddle this part of the river again, but at a different time of the year.