Man killed by rare sea snake bite off coast of Australia

Posted at 10:32 AM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 12:32:43-04

A 23-year-old British man has died after being bitten by a sea snake on a fishing trawler off Australia.

The snake bit him while he was pulling up a net, Northern Territory police told CNN. The incident took place on Thursday in the Gulf of Carpentaria off the Northern Territory.

Medical emergency service CareFlight and other ships in the area rushed to help with medical supplies and assistance, police added. The trawler made its way to the town of Borroloola where the man was declared dead.

At least 32 species of sea snakes have been found in warmer waters off the Northern Territory and Queensland, according to the Marine Education Society of Australasia (MESA).

Most bites reportedly occur on fishing trawlers, as workers pull in nets, as was the case last week, MESA said on its website.

However, it adds that bites are rarely fatal as it’s not common for a lethal dose of venom to be delivered.

Police said the British embassy had been notified of the man’s death. They will continue their investigation and a postmortem will be conducted.

A British High Commission spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in the Northern Territory and are in contact with the Australian authorities.”