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Oh Snap! Lost Teens Almost Gator Bait on Florida River

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Florida is a lovely state, it really is. Pristine beaches, sunshine, Ron DeSantis, sanity, low taxes all are part of the charm of Florida.

Of course, there are always downsides to everything, right? Lightning strike capital of the world, numerous species of deadly vipers, panthers, mosquitos the size of small birds, an occasional democrat. We can’t have everything, right?

Did I mention dinosaurs? More specifically alligators. They are literally everywhere in the sunshine state. Swamps? Gators. Canals? Gators. Rivers? Gators. Lakes? Gators. You get the point? You better because they are everywhere, and they can be hungry, hungry like hippos, which ironically kill more humans than gators. thank goodness no hippos. Just saying.

Well, some crazy teens found out the (almost) hard way recently. What’s the story? Snap up this from the News and Observer:

A trio of youths tubing the Yellow River in Florida became stranded in the dark and had to be rescued — after they became convinced alligators were closing in on them. The rescue happened late Tuesday, June 21, “deep on the river” and involved one 12-year-old and two 18-year-olds, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. The county is about 135 miles west of Tallahassee on the Florida Panhandle. The group called 911 around 8:30 p.m. after seeing an alligator not far away, the sheriff’s office told McClatchy News.

It’s important to note that one might not think there are gators that far north in Florida, that is to say the panhandle. One would be wrong. Actually, all three of these kids were wrong. Also, I imagine they were convinced alligators were closing in on them, because they probably were! Dinnertime!

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“They told deputies they went tubing, it got too dark to see, and they believed they were surrounded by alligators,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “Our OCSO small boat was launched (around 9:30 p.m.), operated by Deputy Elliott Howard and K-9 Handler Royce Brooks. The boat made it a mile and a half up the river before the river was impassible. Both deputies got out, walked the shores, and swam upriver.”

If you didn’t get the full effect from that last quote, read it again. I’ll wait. Ok. These ultra-bad ass officers ABANDONED their boats, walked the shores and swam upriver. All superheroes don’t wear capes. The weight of the stones it takes to swim at night, in a Florida river teeming with gators would send most people to the bottom. Not these immortals! Gators be damned!

The three were located about 10 minutes later — around 10:30 p.m. — and escorted back to the patrol boat for a trip to the nearest launch, officials said. The youths were not injured, deputies said. It is common knowledge “there are indeed lots of alligators in the area,” the sheriff’s office reported. The Yellow River and nearby marsh are listed as home to alligators, bears and rattlesnakes.

Alligators and bears and rattlesnakes, oh my! Thankfully these three knuckleheads were rescued unharmed, and subsequently no gators had to be killed, as is usually the case when someone ignores nature and gets their arm bitten off.



As for the officers involved in the rescue? I hear the Marvel Universe needs a couple new superheroes since Chris Evans is killing everything he touches lately. Maybe they should hit these REAL heroes up.