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68-year-old man recounts moment he was bitten by crocodile in Everglades

Posted at 9:22 PM, Mar 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-16 21:22:38-04

MIAMI, Florida (WSVN) — A 68-year-old man is sharing his survival story after his boat capsized and he was bitten by a crocodile while at the Florida Everglades.

The bad bite sent Rodrigo Constain, a husband, father and grandfather, to the hospital where he is recovering at Jackson South Medical Center.

“Right now I feel good because I’m alive,” said Constain.

The incident happened on Sunday at the Flamingo Marina in Everglades National Park.

According to the National Park Service, Constain reportedly capsized his boat while he was in the marina basin after being out in the water for a few minutes. After his boat went down, he attempted to swim to shore with his boat when he was seen going under water.

While he tried to take care of his boat problem, the crocodile swam up to Constain and bit his leg. He said his naval and sailing experience kicked in when the bite occurred.

“My leg that was in the water, I knew my leg was stuck,” said Constain.

Soon, he saw himself fighting to free himself from the jaws of a crocodile. He took matters and the crocodile’s snout into his own hands.

“I tried to reach the boat again, to climb it, and I told myself ‘No, I cannot do that because if I try to climb it, he will grab me again,'” said Constain. “So, I put the boat in my back and pulled it with a rope and went underneath the boat and pulled it to the deck again and go swimming there so I can be rescued.”

Park rangers and first responders located him and treated a laceration on his leg. He was then airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson South Medical Center in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Constain’s wound has to stay open to prevent infection. He said he is in pain but is assured that there is only one reason why he survived.

“There’s only explanation of this, is God. He saved my life. He was with me in that moment,” said Constain.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the chances of getting bitten by an alligator in Florida is about 1 in 3.1 million. Experts say the bites are rare because crocodiles are shy animals.

Constrain said that if he didn’t get out of the water, this would have had a very different ending.

“The crocodile was still swimming. I have pain but nothing matters. I feel good that I’m here, alive,” said Constain.