Swimmer Found Dead in Florida State Park Was Eaten by Alligator: Officials
James Okkerse, 62, was found dead in Blue Spring State Park on Monday afternoon
A Florida swimmer whose body was found Monday was eaten by an alligator, PEOPLE confirms.
James Okkerse, 62, was found dead in Blue Spring State Park on Monday afternoon with a 12-ft. alligator nearby, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Okkerse was swimming with two friends when he disappeared at around 9 a.m., NBC News reports. His body was later found at the bottom of the spring.
The Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday that Okkerse’s injuries were consistent with an alligator attack, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
The alligator in question was caught and euthanized that afternoon.
Russell Anen, who was swimming with Okkerse when he disappeared, told the Sentinel that park officials didn’t do enough to warn them of the danger of swimming the spring, particularly given that an alligator of that size had been spotted in the area recently.
“There should be more information put out there for keeping the park in control rather than things getting out of hand,” Anen said. “We’re not foolish people. We should have been cautioned, and we probably would have asked for the size of the alligator.”
He then suggested that the park consider implementing new safety measures to protect swimmers, such as removing alligators from the swimming area.
“I just want things done that are right for Jim and the other people that attend the park,” he said. “I just want to make sure safety measures are in place.”