Offbeat

BY Mikey Jones


This is what you call a close call – a UK firefighter has been snapping up close and personal with an alligator.

 Chris Knight, 39, who lives in Windsor, London, took the dangerously close images while visiting Everglades National Park in Florida, US.

PIC BY Chris Knight / CATERS NEWS

 The images show him not only in the water with deadly reptiles but also face to face with one.

 Chris also managed to capture some incredible underwater shots which show off their huge pointy teeth.

But this isn’t the first time Chris has faced a dangerous creature as he is best known for working with sharks.

PIC BY Chris Knight / CATERS NEWS

Chris, who is a firefighter and photographer, said: “I’d been on a trip to the Bahamas to photograph sharks and swam with pigs but had a stop off in Florida on the way home.

“I was told through a friend that I might be able to photograph American alligators with an experienced guide.

 “Due to their level of skill it meant they would let me to get in the water with them allowing me a unique opportunity to photograph the gators in this way.

PIC BY Chris Knight / CATERS NEWS

“When I first got in the water I thought ‘I hope he’s in a good mood, not hungry and continues to be as calm as he seems at the moment!’

 “It was pretty nerve wracking at first as I had never worked with alligators before, however I had a great guide who had 20+ years’ experience of working with them and as always I had been thoroughly briefed, educated about their behaviour and had discussed what to and what not to do.

“My camera and lighting set up is a pretty big rig so it’s nice to know that I have something pretty sturdy to use as a shield if something were to go wrong. 

PIC BY Chris Knight / CATERS NEWS

“I sometimes look at my own photos such as an alligator with its mouth wide open or a humpback whale and its calf and remind myself that I was actually there as it almost seems like a dream once a certain amount of time has passed. 

“I consider myself very lucky to have had an experience like this. Not many people can say that they have shared a moment with a huge and potentially dangerous apex predator.”