Peter Joyce is an experienced kayaker and has had run-ins with alligators in the past. However, none of those experiences prepared him for his most recent encounter with an alligator while navigating a swampy section of the Waccamaw River in North Carolina.
The gator charged towards Joyce, striking the front of his kayak with its head. The kayak was overturned, and Joyce found himself underwater.
"My mind was playing catch-up at that point," added Joyce. "Basically, when I made out the head of the gator towards the front end of the kayak, it was kind of just a state of shock. As soon as it hit the kayak and I went, 'what just happened?'"
Joyce managed to upright his kayak and paddle away. He said his experience left him with a newfound respect for the reptiles.
"Usually, they make a splash or move and make a ruckus in the water," said Joyce. "But this was a continuous charge from about 20 feet away. It definitely made me think a little bit differently what their capabilities are."
Joyce said he plans to kayak that part of the river again, but will wait until winter when the alligators are not active.