A family’s fairytale Disney vacation quickly turned into a nightmare when an alligator attacked.
The search for a 2-year-old boy, who was dragged into a lagoon by the alligator at Walt Disney’s Grand Floridian hotel near Orlando on Tuesday night, continued Wednesday. Still, investigators have not found any signs of the child.
“This is still a search and rescue operation,” said Jeff Williamson, a spokesman of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. “We are very hopeful. We are hoping for the best.”
Disney is now taking extreme safety measures to protect their other visitors and guests by closing all beaches in its resort area “out of an abundance of caution.”
The boy’s father tried frantically to save his son, who was, “wading … along the lake’s edge at the time that the alligator attacked,” according to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings. The child was reportedly in less than a foot of water at the Seven Seas Lagoon, which is connected to a series of canals that feed into large bodies of water.
“The father actually went into the water to wrestle his son from the grips of the alligator,” Demings said about the lagoon that has “No Swimming” signs visible “from any vantage point,” another visitor stated.
The father escaped with minor injuries as the boy’s mother also went into the water to try and save her child.
“The sad reality of it is it’s been several hours, and we’re not likely going to recover a live body,” Demings added.
The family of four included the toddler who was attacked, his parents, whose names have not been released, and their 4-year-old daughter.
In a sad ironic twist, the family arrived in Orlando from Nebraska on Sunday as the world mourned the death of 50 people at the hands of a gunmen that took place in the early morning hours at a popular gay nightclub in the city.
(Photo: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP)