Okkerse’s body was found and pulled from the water on October 19. Wounds on the body were indicative of an attack by an alligator. He had been reported missing by friends previous to being found, and his wife, Carol, had contacted the police to report that he had not returned from swimming.
His death ends the longest period of time between alligator caused fatalities in the state, which stretched approximately 8 years. This was nearly twice the length as the second largest stretch from 1979 to 1983.
Since 1948, records show that 22 people have been killed by alligators in Florida.
The alligator suspected in the attack was captured and killed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Mr. Okkerse's family and friends during this difficult time," said FWC Officer Lenny Salberg.
The American Alligator is one of the most famous symbols of Florida, and for the most part they tend to not see humans as potential prey. Attacks often occur in waters with low visibility, where humans can be mistaken for other species. Prior to 2007, Florida experienced 12 people killed by alligators between 2001 and 2007, with 3 deaths occurring in the span of a week in May of 2006.