Paddleboarding seems like a really peaceful activity when you’re treading through rivers and channels that are inhabited by harmless fish and cute ducks. But in Florida, it’s a different game altogether. No one knows that better than Vicki Reamy Baker, who was stalked by a monstrous alligator during her paddleboarding trip in Silver Springs State Park, Florida.
Getting a bit of her board
While Baker was navigating the waters of Silver Springs, she was being closely followed by a gigantic reptile who was trying to take a chomp off her paddleboard. Baker captured the whole gut-shaking ordeal on camera and her reaction was probably the most surprising.
She posted a series of videos on her Facebook page in which she appears to be coaxing the alligator into leaving her alone. She gently nudges the creature away from her board while saying:
What are you doing? Get away from me. Get away from me… Oh shit, no.
Oh my god. I had to push him with my paddle.
After she pushed him with the paddle, the alligator let out a threatening hiss and a man not far behind warned the woman saying:
Mam, I would suggest backing up after you just made him pretty mad.
Despite her attempt to escape the beast, the alligator continued to follow her and she even posted a picture where he attempted to eat her board. The woman wrote on Facebook:
Gator tried to eat my board. Someone has been feeding him and made him very dangerous. He was a big boy.
How to avoid getting eaten by an alligator while paddleboarding
According to Fit Fun SUP, an informative blog about all things related to stand-up paddleboarding, on average one person dies from an alligator attack every year. So the chances of you being eaten by an alligator are almost zero.
However, to avoid being that one unfortunate soul, Tom Walters—founder of Fit Fun SUP, suggests avoiding the shoreline while paddling. He writes:
If you do SUP in areas known to have alligators, then it is best to avoid the shoreline while paddling. I was paddling up the North-East Cape Fear River last year and rounded a bend very close to the shore. There on the bank I saw at least an 8 footer basking on the muddy bank.
When he saw me he charged straight at me, I thought he was attacking, but he hit the water with a huge splash and went right under my bow. Scared me, but also reassured me that these guys are not interested in attacking me on my SUP. This is not a place I would go swimming though.