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Man killed by snake trying to save mate

The man was attending a 100-year celebration at the school. Picture: Cameron Bates
The man was attending a 100-year celebration at the school. Picture: Cameron Bates

Bystanders’ efforts to save a man’s life after he was bitten by a snake in rural Queensland have been lauded as “heroic”.

The 69-year-old was bitten multiple times after removing a snake that had coiled around a friend’s leg in Koumala – about 60km south of Mackay — on Saturday evening.

The pair were attending a 100-year anniversary celebration at the Koumala State School when he was bitten about 8pm.

Queensland Ambulance Service acting-deputy commissioner for operations south Claire Bertenshaw said paramedics were en route with antivenom when the man “tragically” died.

The snake was “likely” a brown snake. Picture: Ken Griffiths/supplied
The snake was “likely” a brown snake. Picture: Ken Griffiths/supplied

“There was a rapid call for an ambulance and bystanders performed CPR immediately as the man collapsed post the snake bite,” she said.

“Despite heroic measures from both the bystanders and the Queensland Ambulance Service he was unfortunately unable to be revived.”

Acting-deputy commissioner Bertenshaw said the snake was “most likely” a brown snake due to the man’s symptoms, but it was “hard to say with any type of certainty”.

His condition deteriorated rapidly and died about 30-40 minute after the bite.

His friend is believed to also have been bitten, but is “doing well” in a Mackay hospital, acting-deputy commissioner Bertenshaw said.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of the patient that tragically lost their life last night,” she said.

“The advice to people is try and limit how much it (the venom) moves about the body.

“Lie down, stay as still as possible, call for help as soon as possible and have someone apply pressure.”

Queensland is home to about 78 species of venomous snakes, although only 12 are considered “potentially dangerous” by the Queensland Government.

There were 846 bites recorded in 2022.