Most jobs have their pros and cons, but for Glenn Berger, there’s one con that may cost him his life.
The 40-year-old is an entrepreneur—he sells the lost golf balls that make their way into the murky waters of Florida. To get these little treasures, Glenn dives to get them himself, dodging alligators in the process.
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The balls are sold for as little as 25 cents to $2 dollars, and while that may not seem too much, he said that he’s collected over 15 million of them in a 14-year career. He hasn’t disclosed his wealth, but if he sells around 2 million balls a year, his finances may not be too bad.
He shared, “It’s a great job. I’ve had a few run-ins with alligators—they’re a hazard in my line of work but it’s all worthwhile. They’ll float over me while I’m on the bottom but sometimes they’re curious, especially the smaller ones, they’ll dive down and bump me on the tank just to see what I am.”
Glenn added, “Scuba diving is a dangerous activity as it is, but when you add no visibility, no lifeline and alligators looking for a meal, it only gets worse. I just try to not to think about them and focus on picking up golf balls.”
During his dives, he wears camouflage patterns to hide from the gators, but there are other creatures that are as dangerous that he’s seen in the murky waters as well, like cottonmouth snakes, snapping turtles, and crocodiles. Sometimes he has run-ins with gators in his diving gear. At one time, he even thought an animal was on his back.