JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Beachgoers came across an unexpected sight at Jacksonville Beach on Saturday – a 3-foot alligator in the surf.
Ocean rescue says someone spotted the gator near Fifth Avenue South and alerted lifeguards.
“I heard this girl come up and say, ‘Oh my God, there’s an alligator,’ and I was like, 'What’s going on?'” Adrielle Plasencia said.
Lifeguards got everyone out of the water and called Jacksonville Beach police and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Families crowded around as lifeguards used a net to get the gator out, then loaded it into an animal control truck.
Lt. Max Ervanian, with Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue, said it was agitated, likely sick from being in the salt water.
He said this is the second time in 10 years he’s heard of a gator in the ocean.
“We possibly think, as before, it went down in the sewer drains, came out of the sewer drain that’s on the beach proper, then was a little lost and ventured into the water,” he said.
FWC said it is relocating the gator to a more suitable area.
Lifeguards don’t expect to see any more gators in the water, so you don’t have to worry about one swimming up next to you.
As for beachgoers, they said they were keeping a close eye on the water.
“Crazy, but very Florida,” Plasencia said.
Cox Media Group