Heroic Florida Firefighter Swims Past Alligator to Save Drowning Man

A Nassau County firefighter saved a man's life on September 11, after the victim had accidentally plunged into a pool inhabited by an alligator.

Firefighter Joshua Berglin, 26, and his partner spotted a crowd gathered around a roadside pool near Dunn Avenue, Nassau County.

The pair of emergency responders then discovered a truck had veered into the water, where it was rapidly sinking. Upon seeing someone still inside the submerged vehicle, Berglin knew he had to act quickly.

The heroic firefighter, who has been contacted by Newsweek, told CBS News Action Jax he was more concerned for the victim's life than for his own safety.

He said: "Pull up. Dive in. I didn't think twice about it. Someone was in there—when we found that out it was 'get in and get him out.'"

However, it was only when the firefighter was in the water he realized just how dangerous his rescue mission had become.

Berglin said: "I'm hearing 'there's a gator, there's a gator' just bailing in the water, swim past him.

"Go in and grab a hold of the guy and try to get him out of there as quick as possible, he's bobbing his head underwater, having a hard time staying afloat."

But Berglin pressed on with his perilous operation and within approximately two minutes he had somehow survived navigating the alligator to reach the unnamed man, described as "floating in-between both driver seat and passenger seat."

He said: "His windows were open, so I reached in, grabbed a hold of his arms and just pulled to try and get him out."

The Nassau County firefighter added: "If someone needs help, I'm just going for it, you know?"

The victim, who was taken to a local hospital, is expected to make a full recovery.

American alligators once faced extinction, but the ancient animals have since made an impressive recovery after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed them on the endangered species list in 1967.

This is far from the first time alligators have landed humans in hot water.

A woman in South Carolina somehow survived after being dragged into a lagoon by an 8-foot-long alligator in September 2021.

A similarly-sized alligator was earlier this month freed from a storm drain in an operation in Westchester, Florida.

And also in Florida, a man in May was forced to wrestle an alligator to save his pet dog from being the animal's next meal.

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Stock photo of alligator. A fearless firefighter cheated death after swimming past an alligator to rescue a drowning man Joe Raedle/Getty Images