A Florida teenager who fought back against an alligator attack last week has his sights set on joining the Marine Corps.
Andrew Hudson, 17, was swimming with friends in Little Econ River near Geneva, Fla., on July 9 when a alligator swam up behind him and pulled him under, Fox Orlando reported. Hudson told Fox he never saw the almost 10-foot gator approaching.
“All I felt was a big thud and felt the pressure on my head, and just straight took me under,” Hudson told Fox. “I felt like the belly of him on my back and on my side. … I stayed calm because if I started freaking out it would have uh, could have went south.”
Hudson fought back, hitting the alligator a couple of times. And as soon as it let go, he said he swam away as fast as he could. When he reached the bank, he climbed out of the river — but only after making sure his friends had also made it to safety, Fox reported.
Once out of the water, Hudson said he felt severe pain in his head and he was bleeding badly. He quickly tended to the worst of the wounds, he said.
“It was the more open one that was just gushing blood and getting in my eyes and everything,” he told Fox. “Then I just took my shorts off and wrapped them around my head to try and stop the bleeding.”
Once he got to the hospital, Hudson needed 17 staples in his head and 23 stitches to close puncture wounds, including one from an alligator tooth in his upper back, Fox reported.
“It’s scary,” he said. “It’s crazy. I never would have thought that that would happen or a big gator like that , and I’m surprised I got away to be honest. … If he held on or started to roll or kept me under, I probably wouldn’t have made it, or it would have been a lot more severe.”
Hudson said that for now, he’ll likely stay away from swimming. He heads back to high school for his senior year this fall and has his sights set on his long-term goal of joining the Marine Corps.
“I want to be in the military — in the Marines after I graduate,” he told Fox. “I always have ever since I was little, and I [will]accept the challenge and join the Marines. It’s always what I’ve wanted to do.”
The Associated Press reported that a 12-foot alligator was caught in the river where Hudson was swimming on July 10 — one day after the attack.