Joey Welch, alligator attack: Canoe trip with dad Joseph Welch turns terrifying when gator attacks

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A South Florida father's canoe trip took a terrifying turn when his six-year-old boy fell into the water -- and into the jaws of an alligator.

Joey Welch and his dad, Joseph, were about to go canoeing Friday afternoon in Boynton Beach when the incident happened.

For a slight moment, Joey wandered and stumbled into the water's edge.

Joey's father heard his son screaming -- and ran to the water to see his son stuck in the mouth of a gator.

"I immediately heard this blood curdling scream coming out of him," Joseph said. "An alligator had latched on to his right arm. So I ran in to the water [and] started punching the alligator on top of the head as hard as I could."

A witness heard the commotion and came to help.

Eventually they were both able to kick the alligator enough for it to let go of the little boy.

"Fortunately, the alligator did eventually release, and I was able to get my son out of the water," Joseph said.

Joey was taken to the hospital -- and remarkably, only had minor injuries.

His mother believes there was an angel watching over her son. "Why my son has an arm today? Why he doesn't have puncture marks? It's a miracle," said Jackie Welch.

Information from WSVN/CNN contributed to this report.

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