Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Summer of Our Nightmares.

Days after the massacre, I woke up to the story that a two year old was dragged into the water by an alligator at the Grand Floridian. I cannot imagine -and I'm remembering how I joked about the Canadian lady freaked out about the alligator in the lagoon. In this case the family was on the beach area after dark and the child was in a foot of water when the alligator grabbed him. I don't know how dark it was, if they were aware of the gator's presence (they are from Nebraska) or any other details right now, but I'm just nauseated and numb with horror. The Orange County sheriff has been on TV almost around the clock giving reports on our various tragedies, and I swear he's aged 10 years in the last few days. Dear God.


Anonymous said...

Up in the Top End, there have been cases of locals and visitors wading into the water - walking right past the warning sign that announces "Stay out of the water. Salt water crocodiles!" Evening and night being the most dangerous time doesn't even occur to them.

Some people cannot help themselves, which is why first responders and sheriffs age so quickly.

It is a horrifying thought - death in the jaws of a creature from the age of the dinosaurs.

Be kind to yourself,

Gae, in Callala Bay

Catherine said...

This area is posted as no swimming, but even we Floridians are stunned that the gator was that aggressive. Nearly all attacks happen in isolated areas when someone wanders where they shouldn't, not outside a resort - ANY resort. We've seen gators on Disney property as we drive in along Western Way, a good mile or so from the resorts in an unpopulated natural area. They recovered the child's body intact, he was drowned, probably in the first few minutes as the gator "rolled" him, then decided he wasn't even a snack. I'm just...I cannot begin to imagine what that family is going through. Accidents happen. A child drowned in one of the resort pools recently, parents weren't watching, etc., but this is a horrible, horrible first.

Anonymous said...

At least the parents were spared the thought of mauling - the tragedy is on our news, too. Absolutely dreadful.

Gae, in Callala Bay

jennywren said...

I would in no way want to blame the parents as this tragedy will haunt them forever. One blessing for them was finding him 'in tact'. One can only hope it was so quick for the poor little soul that he was unaware what was happening. Latest reports I have read say they were 10' out, which is a long way to go to paddle I think so presumably the water is shallow to that distance? I admit I am torn between 'what were they thinking' and those poor parents but mostly just that poor child.

I have never been to Orlando myself but a friend of mine has and said when she flew in with her husband and family they were warned by the flight attendants to be constantly aware of the alligator dangers. She spoke to them all for several minutes including that it was not just in the water that the 'gators' were a danger. They also found warnings in their hotel room as well as 'no swimming' signs etc. although they say they were not spoken to by staff about it. She wondered if the family 'may' have taken the 'no swimming' signs too literally - not realizing it was the water/gator danger not a swimming one?

My sympathies to you all in Orlando, this has been a terrible week for you.

KatyaR said...

I've never been to Florida and have lived in land-locked Oklahoma my entire life, I know nothing about alligators. That being said, to me "no swimming" signs wouldn't necessarily rule out wading, and I would never think that someplace like Disney would have alligators in their waters. It would never cross my mind because I have no knowledge of gators. This family is from Nebraska--I would bet they knew very little as well.

All that said, it's a horrible, horrible tragedy. I'm just glad they were able to find the little one.

Anonymous said...

We are having an uproar here in the Great Southern Land - we are in the middle of a Federal Election, and one of our reddest necked politicians has released a TV commercial. Oh brother !!

It shows the politician miming SHOOTING two of his opponents!

Tasteful, or what?

Gae, in Callala Bay

Catherine said...

Well hell, we have that in at least one or two congressional elections in the south every couple of years!

Catherine said...

KatyaR - I know, I have no criticism of the Nebraska family (other than perhaps being in the no swimming area in the water after dark) - they couldn't have possibly imagined that could happen, because this was truly the unimaginable. Yes, there are alligators on Disney property; there is no realistic way to keep them out. Disney has a working relationship with Fish and Wildlife and if they see one hanging around the guest areas they call in a trapper. Alligators are generally shy and rarely bother with humans, and the wilder, less visited ponds are posted with warning signs about gators AND snakes. They've had one previous incident in over 40 years and umpty million visitors, and that was at a campsite and nobody died. This happened in the shadow of a HUGE resort hotel, not on a campsite at Fort Wilderness, and it is horrifying and mind-blowing.