Gator attacks man diving for golf balls

WESTON, Florida (WSVN) -- A South Florida man diving for golf balls at a course had to be transported to a hospital after he was bitten by an alligator. This is the second time he has been attacked.

Rescue crews responded to the Bonaventure Country Club after 51-year-old Steve Martinez was bitten on the hand by a 9-foot alligator, Wednesday, at around 2 p.m. Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived on the scene shortly after and captured the animal about three hours later.

Martinez was taken to a hospital with superficial wounds and is expected to be OK. As he left the hospital he spoke to WSVN about the attack. "I'm in a lot of pain. It definitely hurts, but it is a rare occasion," said Martinez.

This marks the second time Martinez has been attacked by an alligator. Back in 2006, he was diving for golf balls in Boynton Beach when he was bitten on the arm. "These things don't happen often," he said, "and it was just 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."

According to officials, Martinez, who is contracted by the Bonaventure Country Club to retrieve golf balls out of its lakes, was diving in a lake when the alligator bit his hand and arm.

He was able to free his arm and call for help. "He just told me it was real big," said Bonaventure Country Club General Manager Randy Weber. "He didn't see it, he just felt it. He said it grabbed his arm and then let him go."

Trent Hampel, who saw Martinez after the attack said, "He wasn't panicking. He was perfectly calm. He just had a bit of a bloody hand, right on the top of his hand. It was cut the worst. It was swelling, then he had a minor cut on his forearm and on the side of his hand. Otherwise it wasn't too bad. He was very calm and collected throughout the whole thing, wasn't panicking or anything like that."


And in Florida, there is a lot of gator news:


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