6:30 AM Update
A press conference was held by the Orange County Sheriff’s office and Florida Fish and Wildlife at 6:30 am to give an update on the taking of a boy near Disney's Grand Floridian.
At approximately 9:21 PM last night a 911 call was made to report the taking of a 2 year old boy by a 4-7 foot alligator from the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon near the Grand Floridian. The boy was playing in the water in approximately 1 foot of water where the only warning signs posted are for no swimming. The father struggled with the alligator to try to free the boy with no success. He received multiple lacerations, but is otherwise unharmed. The first on the scene was a lifeguard from the Grand Floridian, but he was too late to render assistance.
The first rescue personnel on the scene were from Disney, including individuals from Reedy Creek Fire and Rescue, who launched a large number of watercraft in search of the boy. Approximately 50 personnel from the Orange County Sheriff’s office and Florida Fish and Wildlife have been searching all night the extensive waters around Seven Seas lagoon using watercraft, sonar equipment and a helicopter. Four gators have been pulled from the surrounding waters, but none have been linked to the boy’s disappearance. The search will continue today as more personnel and equipment are dispatched to the area. There is currently no timeline as to when the search will be completed. They are currently in search and rescue mode.
Alligators attacking people is a very rare occurrence and none have been reported at Disney. Victim advocates have been with the family since the incident. The family is from Nebraska (possibly Omaha) on vacation at Walt Disney World. They arrived June 12th.
Are hearts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of the boy as they are dealing with this traumatic event.
Please check back for updates as we follow this heart breaking story.
Eric Wichhart ~ firstname.lastname@example.org