Pete Joyce was in a swampy area of North Carolina's Waccamaw River when the animal surprised him

By People Staff
July 20, 2020 05:44 PM

For Pete Joyce, this wasn't the most pleasant of run-ins.

The experienced kayaker was navigating the waters of North Carolina's Waccamaw River last week when he received an aggressive bump from an unseen alligator. The episode caused his kayak to tip, though Joyce —  a firefighter and paramedic — was able to right himself after a few moments.

Joyce was wearing a camera to document his trip, and caught the whole frightening incident on video. 

"The video doesn't really do justice to the impact because it hit hard enough that it was able to displace my balance and that's where I started to roll," he told CNN, adding that he could feel the gator brush up against the bottom of his kayak as he turned rightside up.

"That's what I thought about was that the thing was going to go for a second hit or something," he added.

Joyce hit his kayak with his paddle three times before quickly moving onward through the swampy area he was in, thankfully never crossing paths with the creature again.

"When it was about three feet from the side of the boat is when I actually got a good look at the head," Joyce said. "Not enough time to really react, anyway."

According to CNN, Joyce is planning to kayak the whole Waccamaw River, though is considering a break until winter, when alligators are slightly less active.