A 37-year-old Tallahassee man was charged with disorderly conduct at Wakulla Springs State Park after jumping out of a tour boat to “swim with the alligators” on Saturday, June 19 at 5:06 p.m., according to Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey.
Eric Ross told Deputy Nick Boutwell that he intentionally jumped off the tour boat because he observed an alligator in the water and wanted to fulfill a lifelong fear/fantasy of swimming with a gator. He compared the thrill to “sky diving” as he was being questioned by the deputy.
Park Ranger James Hines responded to the scene with another boat and discovered that Ross had swum to the river bank and was walking toward the public swimming area. The park ranger found Ross holding a stick in a wooded area before taking him to meet with law enforcement officials.
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