Golf ball diver bitten by alligators twice in 8 years

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 was 10 feet long and dragged out of a lake on the second hole of the Bonaventure Country Club in Weston, Fla. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believes it's the same gator.

“I'm in a lot of pain. It definitely hurts,” bite victim Steven Martinez said.

It sunk its teeth into the left arm and hand of 51-year-old Martinez as he performed his job diving for golf balls at the bottom of the lake.  Martinez was able to shake off the alligator.

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

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

“He seemed like everything was okay, other than he'd just been bit by an alligator,” club manager Randy Weber said.

“He was very calm, and it's not really something that you hear of super often, you know,” Trent Hampel, a witness, said.

It isn't the first time Martinez has been attacked.  In 2006 while 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.

“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,” Martinez said.


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