ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office released the 911 call of the alligator attack at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club last Friday night.
In the audio, the caller, a 70-year-old man, is heard desperately asking for help after Rose Marie Wiegand, a resident of the country club, fell into a canal while she was removing weeds from a retainer wall.
The man said he was playing at the sixth hole of the golf course when Wiegand fell into the water across from him.
“She was screaming,” he said. “I tried to get to her, and she went under. I just couldn’t find her. I thought I was gonna die. Oh God, my chest hurts.”
When asked if the woman needed medical help, he replied that Wiegand was already gone. He then began calling for help from people nearby.
“I can’t breathe,” he said, panting as he couldn’t get up.
The man told the 911 dispatcher to call the country club so they could send someone to help.
“I just couldn’t get to her; I tried,” he said.
When asked what kind of body of water it was, the man said it was a canal that wraps around the golf course. He mentioned that alligators lived in the water.
The caller said Wiegand fell into the water five minutes before he was able to call 911.
Six minutes into the call, another man was heard checking on the first caller to help him after his wife called 911 as well. He then began speaking to the dispatcher to help the first caller.
The second man then went to check to see if he could see Wiegand while the first caller stayed on the line.
“I wish I could have got to her,” he said to the dispatcher.
Nine minutes in, the second man came back and said he could see Wiegand’s body floating in the water 50 feet from the shore.
“She’s dead,” the second man said mentioning that there are alligators in the area.
The dispatcher told the second man to keep bystanders away until authorities arrived.
“I can see a gator right in front of me,” the second man said as he looked into the water.
He eventually said that he saw Wiegand float to the top of the water.
“Yeah she just came to the top,” the second man said. “Oh damn it, and there’s a gator 20 yards from her. That’s awful. There’s a gator right next to her; that’s what’s floating her up.”
When first responders arrived, the second man yelled to get them to help.
Monday, medical examiner Russell Vega said Wiegand was killed in an accidental alligator attack after she fell into the canal. She was found with spinal dislocations and blunt force trauma to the head and neck, which were determined to be the cause of death.