A woman died Monday morning after apparently being attacked by an alligator while walking her dog near a lagoon on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies were called around 9:30 a.m. Monday to respond to a report of an alligator attacking a woman at a lagoon off Wood Duck Road in the Sea Pines Plantation community, officials said.
Authorities said they recovered a woman’s body from the lagoon shortly after they arrived on the scene.
In a letter to residents, the Sea Pines Community Services Association said a person was found dead Monday morning in a lagoon near the Club Course area of Sea Pines.
David Lucas, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, told ABC News that a maintenance worker saw the attack. Deputies said witnesses reported that the woman was walking her dog near the lagoon when an alligator attacked and pulled her into the water.
“They were able to get her out of the water and she was still alive, but she died at the scene,” Lucas told ABC News.
Authorities were searching Monday morning for the alligator, which was described as 8 feet long.
Officials are awaiting the results of an autopsy to confirm the woman’s cause of death. Deputies said the woman’s dog was not injured.
Lucas told the Island Packet that alligator attacks are "exceedingly rare" and warned that anyone who sees an alligator approaching should walk backward, away from it.
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