Last week, kayaker Peter Joyce was rammed by an alligator in the Waccamaw River in North Carolina and was knocked into the river. 

Joyce was wearing a video camera on his head which captured the whole incident. The video, which he posted on YouTube, shows the animal push its head and body into the kayak. Joyce told WECT, “I thought I heard a fish jump to my left – turned out not to be a fish. About three feet from the kayak I made out the head of the gator and that was it, I had no time to react.”

He added, “My mind was playing catch-up at that point. 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, I went, ‘What just happened?’”

Joyce was then knocked into the water. Joyce came back to the surface and quickly paddled away. He told CNN his fear in that moment in time, “That’s what I thought about was that the thing was going to go for a second hit or something.”

Joyce, who is both a firefighter and a paramedic, explained that he is an experienced kayaker and has seen many alligators in his time. However, he has never had one attack him. He said, “I have a different appreciation of the animal. I mean once it comes after you one good time you look at it a little differently.”

“Usually they make a splash or move and make a ruckus in the water,” he said. “But this was a continuous charge from about 20 feet away. It definitely made me think a little bit differently what their capabilities are.”