A couple vacationing in Florida got an up-close-and-personal interaction with the state’s most famous reptilian residents when an alligator leaped off the bank it was sunning on and into their airboat, briefly wedging itself in the boat’s railing.
And they caught it all on video.
Tylor Hindery, 30, really wanted to see some alligators on his Florida trip, so he managed to talk his wife, Emerald, 31, into an airboat ride.
The Springfield, Missouri, couple took a tour with two other people in hopes of capturing some brag-worthy pictures and video. He wouldn’t reveal which area of Florida he was in, but a Facebook live video he took of his close encounter starts mere feet from the creature’s snout.
“The guy killed the engine and we just floated over,” Hindery said. “We got stuck on the bank, and he didn’t want to turn the engine on and scare everything.”
The group enjoyed the picture-perfect proximity for a few moments as the guide starts to discuss plans to push off from the bank and back into the water.
“Don’t make no sudden moves,” the man in the boat warned, “because ... ”
As if on cue, the gator lunged. He landed directly in the airboat, sending the camera wheeling and the passengers screaming and scrambling to safety.
But as the focus turned back to the gator, it turned out the plump reptile cleared the railing on one side of the boat, but not the other. He was stuck.
In a decidedly unglamorous moment, the gator wheeled his rear legs around as he tried to wiggle free.
Eventually, he slipped and awkwardly fell into the water. The passengers nervously laughed and took deep breaths.
“Are your pants dry?” a woman joked.
Hinderly’s wife commented on the Facebook video later and summed up the intense moment.
“Somehow,” she wrote, “we held our beers.”