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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 19:58 GMT
Man saved from alligator's jaws
An alligator. File photo
Alligators are a common sight in Florida
A British pensioner helped save a man from the jaws of a 7ft (2m) long alligator while on holiday in the US.

Tom Arundel, 73, from Basildon, Essex, was playing golf at New Port Richey, in Florida, when he heard shouting.

Mr Arundel and his American friend Pat McGuire, 68, rushed to help and found Vernon Messier, 57, waist-deep in water as an alligator tore at his foot.

Mr Messier gouged at the alligator's eyes and it let him go, allowing the pair to pull him out.

A gator's got me
Vernon Messier

The victim had been collecting golf balls from the waterholes at the course for resale when the creature attacked him.

Mr Arundel said: "We just heard someone shouting for help and saying 'a gator's got me'.

"We rushed over with our golf clubs and found this man hanging off the bank.

"The alligator had his foot and wouldn't let it go.

"This guy was wearing a wet suit down to his ankles and that probably saved him," he said.

Mr Arundel said Mr Messier was left with a bloodied foot, but was able to drive himself to hospital and was thought likely to make a full recovery.

He said the alligator was later caught and killed.

US man saved from alligator jaws
30 Nov 06 |  Americas

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