Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy James Abdale made a smart decision on the night of July 28th. When responding to an accident scene of a semi that drove off of Interstate 75 and into the waters of Paynes Prairie he remembered his new DKX M3 ballistic armor.
Deputy Abdale, along with Alachua County Fire Rescue and the Florida Highway Patrol, was tasked with securing the area around the accident while crews searched for the driver. His security mission was not to secure from human aggressors, but to protect his fellow rescue workers from venomous snakes and aggressive alligators.
Paynes Prairie Preserve, a State Park which encompasses 21,000-acres of savanna, is located just south of Gainesville, Florida in Micanopy. The “Prairie”, once a stronghold of the Alachua band of the Seminole tribe, is highly populated with just about every species of Florida wildlife, to include alligators.
As the Deputies and Firefighters attempted to reach the cab of the truck to locate the driver, Deputy
Abdale decided to put on the new gear he just purchased from a local shop that included DKX M3 (Max III) ballistic plates. He remembered being told that the rifle plates would not only protect him from rifle fire, but also that the plates would keep him afloat in water.
He took off the gear he would not need on this patrol and donned his Agent Carrier System that contained the two DKX M3 Series ballistic plates. He made sure his weapon was properly secured and loaded and began his patrol around the semi, looking for alligators in about waist deep water.
Circling to the front of the truck, out of sight of other rescuers on shore, he made a step forward onto what he thought was solid footing and fell off an underwater ledge. He submerged into the dark murky swamp but to his relief, popped right up.
“My armor saved my life”, commented Abdale, “The muck was so thick it was difficult to regain any type of footing in the marsh.” He added, “Without the buoyancy of the DKX plates I would not have been in a position to self-recover.”
DKX M3 Series plates are and NIJ 0101.06 Certified Level III ballistic solution that is designed to the highest level of performance. Accounting for threats and environmental challenges, the DKX M3 is the lightest rifle plate solution at just 2.9 lbs. for a 10”x12” plate, is positively buoyant, and carries an industry leading 7 year warranty. www.dkxarmor.com