I have gone through the glades, and the Okeefenokee many times in my inflatable. Her boat could not have been sinking, unless it only had one air chamber, which is unlikely. It looked like an Advanced Elements Expedition Kayak (a single seat version of my Convertible), which has 5 chambers. The only way to sink it is to puncture all 5 chambers. It may have been wet, and lop-sided, but she could've paddled out if she had not panicked.
Every time gators get too curious about my boat, a whack on the head with my paddle has always been enough to discourage them. I will admit that you do have to pay attention to what's going on around you when you are in an inflatable. I don't let them get close enough to bite my boat. I would shoot them first (as a last resort, of course). What is insane is going out into the glades without at least having a pistol on you. Now that's not smart at all.
By the way, if the gator would done that to a hard-shell, the boat would've been destroyed, and she really would've been in a pickle. It's a long walk back......