GENEVA, Fla. -- A Florida teen survived a frightening encounter with an alligator that bit him on the head.

Investigators say the 17-year-old was swimming in the Little Econolohatchee River when an alligator --between 9 and 10feet long --chomped down on him.

"Basically we were floating down the Econ River, kinda swimming and then out of nowhere a gator came up behind me and just basically bit me in the head," Andrew Hudson says. "And at first I didn't know what it was, so my reaction just started swinging and took off swimming as fast as I could to get away from it."

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Once they realized what was going on, Andrew's friend called 911. Since the boys were deep in the forest, the teen's friend sprinted for help -- eventually finding a park ranger about a mile from where it happened.

Andrew was rushed to South Seminole Hospital in Longwood with non life-threatening injuries.

After more than three hours of emergency treatment and 19 stitches, 17-year-old Andrew has quite a story to tell.

Andrew says the gator bite was quick, powerful and painful while adding he hopes to have all his stitches and staples removed by next week.