Florida Man Emerges Naked From Swamp After Gator Rips His Arm Off
In an Interview with 10 Tampa Bay, Florida Man Eric Merda told the story of how he spent 3 days in the swamp in July after a “Gator got my arm.”
Merda went walkabout in the area of the Lake Manatee fish camp in Myakka City near Bradenton and got lost. When Merda got his bearing back, he discovered he was on the other side of Lake Manatee. Instead of walking all the way around the lake, Merda decided to swim across back to the fish camp. A decision that Merda stated was “not the smartest decision a Florida boy could make.”
Merda described the attack:
“I look over, and there’s a gator on my right-hand side, so I went to swim, and she got my forearm, so I grabbed her like this, she was trying to roll, but she snapped her head, so my arm went backward like this completely,” said Merda who continued to fight for his life.
She’s already got my arm, so when we came up the third time, she finally did her death roll and took off with my arm.
Merda swam back to where he started and began to walk and scream for help. Little did Merda know that he would end up naked and spend the next three days trying to find his way out of the swamp since the line of sight was blocked by all the trees.
“I felt like I was walking in circles, I didn’t know,” he said. “So, I followed the sun and power lines, stuff I could see.”
On the third day, Merda came up on a fence line, saw a man, and called for help.
“I said a gator got my arm, he said, ‘holy smokes man!'”
The man got him some water, and then Merda was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where surgeons amputated the majority of his right arm.
Merda says he’s adapting to life with one arm and wants to warn others to be more cautious around Florida waters.
“Do not feed the gators, and you guys know who you are, throwing rocks at them, I’ve seen it on the job sites, leave them gators alone,” Merda warns.
In the following video, Eric Merda details his last day spent in the Florida Swamp. Towards the end of the video, Merda launches into a self-improvement speech before channeling his motivational speaker within.
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