(NEW YORK) — A 69-year-old woman has died following an alligator attack in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, authorities said Tuesday.
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue, the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office and Spanish Wells security personnel responded around 9:28 a.m. to a report of a possible alligator attack near a lagoon bordering the golf course in the Spanish Wells community.
They located the woman — a resident of the community who had been walking her dog — at the edge of the lagoon. She appeared unresponsive, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
While rescue efforts were being made, an alligator appeared and was guarding the woman, interrupting emergency efforts, according to the sheriff’s office.
The alligator was safely removed from the area, and the woman’s body was recovered. The Beaufort County Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy.
Authorities said it wasn’t clear when the woman was taken into the water.
This is the second fatal attack in the area in less than a year. An 88-year-old woman was attacked by an alligator at a lagoon near her home last August.
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