Off-duty firefighters save man after alligator attack in Florida Everglades

Firefighters, man injured were out duck hunting

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Krit Krutchaiyan and Robert Gautier were out duck hunting on Friday. They were in waist deep water in the Florida Everglades when an alligator bit Krutchaiyan. 

Gautier saw the alligator's mouth and he pushed their kayak in between him and the alligator at the Holey Land Wildlife Management Area

"He was trying to get out," Gautier said. "It's just a shock to see it happen live in front of you. It's a little it startling."

Hollywood firefighters Paul Burton and Michael Donadio were duck hunting nearby when they heard Krutchaiyan screaming. Burton got his kayak up on the levy and ran to him. 

"When I got down to him, his leg was opened up pretty well. Probably some eight inch lacerations to his upper thigh," Burton said. "You could see the extent of the wound. All the meat inside the leg coming out."

Burton tied a tourniquet around Krutchaiyan's left leg. With some help, they moved him "into one of their trucks and drove him until they could meet up with EMS units to ferry him off to the hospital by helicopter," Hollywood Professional Firefighters Association spokesman Anthony J. Vera said.

Broward Sheriff's Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said the BSO helicopter picked up the man on U.S. 27 at mile marker 38 and took him to Broward Health Medical Center. 

"You don't got there expecting to get bitten, but you that there is a possibility that you can get bitten," Gautier said.

Vera and Gautier said Burton and Donadio saved Krutchaiyan's life.

"Due to the extreme location of where they found the victim, had they not been there, he very well may have bled to death," Vera said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff were looking for the alligator. Duck hunting season ends Sunday.

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