Not only can dog leashes save the life of your pet, they can also save the lives of strangers. Charlie Shannon of Martin County, Florida found that out this week when helped rescue a man who was attacked by an alligator, and he did it using his dog’s leash!
According to Florida’s ABC affiliate, WPF News, an unidentified cyclist was traveling down a bike trail when he fell into a creek where an almost nine-foot alligator was waiting. Luckily, Shannon was out walking his dog and witnessed the crash, and he immediately jumped to help.
“I’ve been in Florida 25 years and seen a lot of gators, but nothing like this though,” Shannon said.
‘When I Got There, It Was A Pretty Serious Situation’
Shannon stated he knew there was a Boy Scout camp in the immediate vicinity and initially thought the commotion was just kids messing around.
“Right before the Boy Scout camp I heard some yelling, but I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was just kids or something. Who knows? But then when I got there, I saw it was a pretty serious situation,” Shannon said.
In a Facebook post on their official account, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on the scary incident, stating that the cyclist “lost control of his bike and fell into a body of water about six feet down an embankment” and was immediately attack by the alligator.”
However, due to Shannon’s quick thinking and the tools available to him, the victim survived.
“The cyclist was able to break free then crawl to an area where he was assisted by a bystander,” the police statement read. “Martin County Fire Rescue, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers rendered aid and secured the scene, then drove the bite victim more than a mile to the park area, where a medical helicopter crew was awaiting.”
‘I Was Able To Muscle Him Out Of The Water’
Shannon also describes his moments after finding the man with a “massive flesh wound” in his leg. “The kid held onto me while I reached down, and I was able to muscle him out of the water,” Shannon explained.
Scott Lorraine, who helps manage those same bike trails said, “He slid out and went into the creek, and that bank right by the creek actually has a covering, and the gators get up under there, we notice, and they sit there because they can be hidden still and then go after whatever prey.”
“He said [the gator] actually went for three spins. He was fixing to go down. I said, ‘I don’t know if you’re a praying man,’ but… And all of a sudden, the gator just let him go,” Lorraine revealed.
Dog Leash To The Rescue
Man seriously injured after being bit by an alligator at Halpatiokee Park in Stuart. Victim fell off of his bike and said he was attacked. First responders on are the scene now. pic.twitter.com/41d07hpZIT
— MartinCountySheriff (@MartinFLSheriff) July 19, 2021
Luckily, Shannon had a secret weapon in case praying didn’t work out. He grabbed his dog’s leash to use as a tourniquet for the injured man and control the bleeding.
“I just held it tight without trying to cut off the blood too much, because you have to be careful with that, I guess,” Shannon said.
First responders had to airlift the victim to a nearby hospital. He managed to survive thanks to Shannon’s decisive action.
According to Fox News, local authorities located and trapped the monster alligator and relocated it to a farm.
Remember that a tourniquet can be dangerous and should only be used as a last resort. If you haven’t trained to use first aid for a serious wound, you could end up making things much worse. Use extreme caution.
Alligators can, and sometimes do, attack both dogs and humans. This story serves as a good reminder to always keep your dog on a strong leash and pay attention to your surroundings. You may end up saving your dog’s life, another person’s life, or your own life!
Have you ever had to get creative with whatever items you had in order to help someone? Has your dog leash ever come in handy for an unusual purpose, like saving an alligator bite victim? Let us know the comments below!