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Florida man diving for golf balls has run-in with gator

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News Fargo,ND 58103
Florida man diving for golf balls has run-in with gator
Fargo ND 301 8th St. S. 58103

Weston, FL (CNN) - Apparently being a golf ball retriever in Florida can be a hazardous job. A man contracted to dive for golf balls on one course ended up in the hospital after being bitten on the arm and hand by an alligator.


The alligator is ten feet - that's right, ten feet - and dragged out of a lake on the second hole of the Bonaventure Country Club in Weston.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believes it's the same gator that sunk its teeth into the left arm and hand of 51 year-old Steven Martinez as he performed his job diving for golf balls at the bottom of the lake.  

Steven Martinez - Bite Victim: “I'm in a lot of pain. It definitely hurts.”

Martinez was able to shake off the alligator.

Steven Martinez: “I just got bit, and I got out of the water as soon as possible.”

He drove himself to the pro shop. 911 was called, but Martinez was surprisingly calm.

Randy Weber - Club Manager: “He seemed like everything was okay, other than he'd just been bit by an alligator.”

Trent Hampel – Witness: “He was very calm, and it's not really something that you hear of super often, you know?”

It isn't the first time Martinez has been attacked. In 2006 diving for golf balls in Boynton Beach, he was bitten on the same arm. The gator in the most recent attack was taken away by trappers. Martinez knows he's lucky to have escaped seriously injury twice, but what he won't give up is doing the job he loves.

Steven Martinez: “Being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I just hope it doesn't happen again.  It's a rare occasion. I've been diving for years and years.”