03MAY2012 – Casselberry, FL

Thomas Swiader wasn’t sure what had happened.

Swiader, who works for Coca-Cola, was fishing in his kayak near Lake Triplet in Casselberry when a large alligator took a swipe at him and his girlfriends dog Buffy, a small yorkie.

Swiader, 26, from Fall River, Mass, has lived in Florida just four months.

“To tell you the truth, when I saw the splash, what I thought was, ‘what’s a striper (bass) doing down here’,” Swiader said. “Then I saw the tail of gator swim under the kayak, then I knew what it was. After that my reaction was to get out of there.”

In the video you can see the gator launching itself at the kayak, there is also a slow motion that clearly shows the attack.

“I had the dog with me and you can see it swimming after the attack [on the left hand side of the video],” Swiader added. “It got knocked in the water from the attack, the gator really whacked us hard. I felt a tug on my leg and realized it was the leash, I got the dog back in quickly. I think it [the dog] may have made the gator curious.”

Asked if he would be out kayaking any time soon Swiader said:

“It makes me question fishing and sitting still, that’s for sure. If I’m in the kayak, I’m going to be moving. I’m counting my blessings on that one.”