Alligator attacks man swimming in lake

10:44 AM, May 17, 2010   |    comments
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Doug McCard, 35, was attacked by an 8-foot alligator while swimming in a Central Florida lake.

ORLANDO, Florida -- A man out for an early-morning swim on Lake Mary Jane spoke to reporters from the hospital Sunday night after he was attacked by an 8-foot alligator and rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

"All of a sudden it hit me like a Mack truck or something. I just got hit real hard, and I felt the teeth and I said, I started thinking to myself, 'This is a gator, I can't believe a gator is biting me,' " Doug McCard said.

According to the 35-year-old husband and father of two, doctors are treating him with antibiotics to prevent infection and wanted to keep him overnight.

He described his ordeal at Lake Mary Jane in Moss Park that sent him to the emergency room in detail.

"I knew I was in really shallow water, maybe waist deep, so I tried to spin myself and stand up and started swinging. Got a pretty good elbow to his head and he released me," McCard said.

McCard said he was training for a triathalon and was 20 minutes into his swim when the attack happened at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

"I think that maybe it was laying on the bottom and since the water is so shallow there that I possibly brushed against him or something and startled it," McCard said.

The gator bit McCard while he had one arm raised in mid-stroke, leaving him with some deep wounds all over his torso.

"I have five marks here that are pretty deep, they're right about lung puncture and then I got one on my right hip bone and then I got three or four on my back," McCard said.

Authorities have sent a trapper to kill the 8-foot gator and have closed the busy beach to swimmers in the meantime.

McCard said he's been swimming in Lake Mary Jane since he's been a boy, so the attack came as a shock.

"It's one of those things that happens and God was on my side today," McCard said.

WKMG Local 6

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