Watch CBS News

Friend said she warned woman killed by alligator, recounts frantic efforts to save her

Deadly South Carolina gator attack
Woman killed in South Carolina gator attack 01:26

A woman killed by an alligator at a South Carolina pond told a friend she wanted to get close to the animal and didn't scream as it attacked her and dragged her into the water, according to a police report. Cynthia Covert, 58, died in the attack Friday afternoon on Kiawah Island, Charleston County deputies said.

A deputy had to shoot and kill the alligator to get Covert away from the animal, according to the police report released Monday. According to the report, Covert's friend yelled at her not to get closer, but she continued off the back steps towards where the alligator was located, CBS affiliate WCSC reported.

The woman Covert was staying with said she didn't seem herself Friday and walked toward the alligator, which lunged and grabbed her in its mouth when she was about 4 feet away, deputies said.

Covert, of Johns Island, made no sound as the alligator pulled her under, the woman told police.

The woman's husband and another man tried beating the alligator with shovels, but the animal swam deeper, the police report said.

When deputies arrived, the alligator kept surfacing with Covert and going under. One officer was able to shoot the animal as it surfaced again, police said.

Firefighters used poles to get Covert out of the pond but she died at the hospital, authorities said.

An autopsy Monday found Covert died of drowning, the Charleston County Coroner's Office said.

This is at least the third fatal alligator attack in South Carolina in the past four years. 

A 90-year-old woman walked out of a Charleston nursing home in 2016 and was killed, while a 45-year-old woman walking her dog was fatally attacked on Hilton Head Island in August 2018.

Before those attacks, South Carolina had never recorded a person killed by an alligator.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.