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#85
Diving with alligators
Brennen - 12/24/2017 1:18 PM
Category: Health & Safety
Replies: 14

Has anyone ever gone diving in an area known to have alligators? I’ve been fascinated by these animals since I was young and have seen numerous videos on YouTube of people diving close to them. Has anyone experienced this? Is it safe? Are there any companies that would provide a guide to do this? I would be looking in southeast US if I was going to do this.

BTW, I am a brand new diver. I am finishing my open water dives this spring, so I am not even certified yet.
#2727
ram04769 - 12/24/2017 6:14 PM
I have done the drift dive a couple of times in the Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Florida. We did spot a couple of smaller gators along the banks while being taxied up river to the drop-off point by the pontoon boat. I know it’s not really what you’re looking for but I did enjoy the dives.
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ram04769 - 12/24/2017 6:16 PM
I forgot to mention, best of luck in completing your dive course this spring! Have a Merry Christmas!
#2021
ELLOCODIABLO - 12/25/2017 10:10 AM
Several of the sinkholes/springs we dive have had gators. Biggest ive seen is probably 7 ft. Always a little wary but never had an issue with them. DONT FEED THEM. Once they loose their fear of you is when they become a problem.
#85
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Brennen - 12/25/2017 10:53 AM
I appreciate everyone taking the time to reply. Just to clarify, I am interested in diving with the intent to actually view these animals relatively close, or as close as I can while being safe. From all the videos I’ve seen on YouTube, people get very close to these animals while underwater and I think it has a lot to do with what season it is done and other factors. This is why I’m looking for a guide that has done this before. I wouldn’t want to do it on my own.

Merry Christmas!
#1670
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FtMyersTom - 12/25/2017 11:07 AM
There’s a lot of money in golf balls retrieved from ponds and lakes at golf courses here in Florida and a lot of competition to get locked in with a course. They call them "white gold" and you can make upwards of 100k. Personally I have no interest in diving in 0 vis blindly feeling for golf balls or searching out places to dive with gators. The places the guys above mention is okay I guess but most places you have access publicly to dive the gators are accustomed to tourist feeding them. Gators method of operation is to grab ya death roll ya and stuff ya in a food cache under a bank or log to let ya rot a bit. Below is a link to a golf ball diver attacked last summer and link to facts about the job. If I’m diving with gators I’m getting paid for it. But with the advent of utube people will do most any stupid thing to get 30sec of internet fame. Don’t forget, gator country is water moccasin country too......happy diving.

sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/sfl-diver-golf-ball...-20170711-story.html
scubadiving.com/training/basic-skills/water-haza...rld-golf-ball-divers
golfballdivingflorida.com/
#85
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Brennen - 12/25/2017 11:18 AM
I have read up on some golf ball hunters getting attacked. These links show what I’m interested in doing. Water with good visibility if I can. And yes I do think some of these people got closer than I would for sure.

youtube.com/watch?v=8YajHkYpvuc
youtube.com/watch?v=11g2NxJxHkk
youtube.com/watch?v=vyTRQLPEHwc
#1670
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FtMyersTom - 12/25/2017 11:28 AM
My profile pic is a Cayman that was hanging around the workers cabins in the mangroves on Turneffe Isl Belize. They needed to get rid of it. So it shows how accustomed they get to people even in the middle of the GOM. Note the tape around it’s snout.....
#94
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sdweller - 12/27/2017 10:34 AM
There is an amazing kayak tour in the everglades, "Garl’s Coastal Kayak" is the name you can Google it...he takes you DEEP into the everyglades up close and personal with tons of gators, as well as other life. I don’t think he dives with them...but considering your fascination with gators I think you would really enjoy his tour.
#85
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Brennen - 12/27/2017 11:54 AM
Thank you! My profile picture is actually meet kayaking with gators up by Jacksonville. I really enjoyed it. I’ll look into that.
#476
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Underwaterjohn - 1/01/2018 11:35 AM
In Cuba at the Jardines Del Reina, at the mangroves my dive buddies were in the water with the alligators. Before the trip I thought I’d do it too cause it would present some incredible photo opportunities....
Once I saw the reptile I backed out.
#85
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Brennen - 1/01/2018 1:36 PM
Did your buddies go through with the experience? If so, were they pretty close to the animals? Also, did you plan the dive yourself or had someone in the group been diving in the area before?
#476
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Underwaterjohn - 1/01/2018 1:45 PM
2 of my buddies did it.....both came back!
I’ve uploaded a pic in my profile. I wasn’t sure how to post it here. The Diver is 12”in front on the alligators’ business end.
It was an organized trip with an Avalon liveaboard. The Jardines del la Reina is hands down the best diving I’ve done in the carribbean.
#85
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Brennen - 1/01/2018 6:08 PM
Took a look at the picture...Wow! That’s amazing. Thanks for the info.

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