Jeffrey Heim, a 25-year-old Florida resident, was miraculously saved from a vicious attack by a crocodile that spinned its head while diving in the Mica River.
The injury involved 35 stitches and he had a minor skull fracture.
Heim, in comments to several local media outlets, said he had just gotten into the water when suddenly, when he came out for air, he felt as if a boat had collided with him at 50mph.
He determined that when he looked up he saw the crocodile watching him from about 4 feet away and it was the calm reaction he had that saved his life.
“You never understand the power of a wild animal like this until it’s in your mouth,” said Heim.
“I got up and felt like I was hit by a 50 mph boat,” he said. “It felt like a fan in my head and pulled me down.”
The young man says he started moving so slowly that it didn’t look like prey was escaping, and so he was able to get out of the water without the animal attacking him again.
As soon as he reached the beach, he was immediately helped by several people who called 911
At the time he was attacked, Heim was searching for the fossilized teeth of a megalodon shark, one of his hobbies.
He says he made the mistake of invading the crocodile’s space, and perhaps a female is taking care of her eggs, because it is in the mating season.
The diver says he feels lucky, because if he loses consciousness or gets bitten more seriously, he thinks he probably wasn’t telling the story.
Heim said that while the crocodile could easily grab one of its limbs, its skull was strong enough to support the crocodile’s teeth while protecting its brain. If the blow had left him unconscious, his story could have ended quite differently.
“I think he hit me in the perfect spot,” he said. “Someone was watching.”
The young man assures that he will listen to his mother for at least a while and never dive into the river again.
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