Victim dies from apparent alligator attack in South Carolina

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A woman has died from an apparent alligator attack on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina Monday morning, according to local authorities.

If confirmed, it would be the first fatal alligator attack in decades in South Carolina, local officials told ABC News.

Witnesses saw the woman walking a dog near a lagoon at Sea Pines Plantation, a gated community on Hilton Head, when she was attacked by an alligator and pulled underwater, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said.

“They were able to get her out of the water and she was still alive, but she died at the scene," according to David Lucas of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

The victim was identified as 45-year-old Cassandra Cline of Hilton Head Island, said Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Bob Bromage

An autopsy will determine her cause of death, the sheriff's office said.

Her dog didn't appear to be hurt, the sheriff's office added.

An alligator believed to be responsible for the attack "was located and dispatched at the scene," according to a sheriff's office statement.

In a post on its Facebook page late Monday morning, Officials from Sea Pines Living wrote in a post on the community’s Facebook page that “we are extremely saddened by this news and will share information with the community as it is made available.”

There has only been one reported death related to an alligator in the past 42 years in South Carolina, and it remains a mystery whether alligators actually caused that death, Lucas said.

“It was in 2016,” he said. “A lady wandered off from a nursing home and she was found [deceased] in a pond, bitten pretty badly. But we don’t know -- and I don’t think we’ll ever be able to determine because there were no witnesses -- whether she fell in and was then bitten, or whether she was attacked and then dragged into the pond.”

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