Gator biting golfer isn't funny; it's terrifying
Did you hear the one about the golfer who went to retrieve a golf ball and lost an arm? Sounds pretty funny, doesn’t it?
I’m guessing 77-year-old James Wiencek can’t laugh about it, although he probably realizes he is lucky to be alive. I’m sure someone his age never thought that an alligator attack might spell the end, but it nearly did.
According to a story in the The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette, Wiencek was on the 11th hole earlier this month at the Ocean Creek Golf Course at Fripp Island (S.C.) Resort when an alligator attacked him as he went to get his golf ball. The 400-pound reptile then dragged him by his arm into a nearby pond. In the end, Wiencek lost his arm below the elbow.
Wildlife officials were able to kill the 10-foot alligator. Then they removed the arm from its stomach. Paramedics then packed his arm in ice in the hopes that it could be re-attached. No word on whether or not that was successful, but there have been similar reports in years past where doctors tried to do just that and failed.
It’s easy to make jokes about this, but we really shouldn’t. People today have become totally insensitive to other people’s plight, and they often hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to make crude comments. My feeling on most of this is that if you wouldn’t say it in the presence of the victim’s family, you probably shouldn’t say it.
First off, that had to really hurt. And I’m sure it was extremely frightening ? you know, like a shark attack, except Mr. Wiencek was on a golf course, not in the ocean.
I’m amazed he just didn’t go ahead and have a heart attack. Goodness, he was almost 80 years old.
Playing golf is one of retirement’s great rewards. So much for that now.
Mr. Wiencek, you certainly have my sympathy. I hope your recovery isn’t too painful.
And as someone who often plays golf courses where alligators are common, I’ll think twice about looking for golf balls near the water ? especially if they are my opponents’.
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