Man dies from sea snake bite off Australian coast

Police said the victim was bitten while pulling up a net 400 miles east of Darwin

File photograph of a sea snake. Photograph: iStock

File photograph of a sea snake. Photograph: iStock

 

A British man (22) has died after being bitten by a sea snake in Australia while working on a fishing trawler.

Northern Territory Police said the man was bitten while pulling up a net while working off Groote Eylandt, 400 miles east of Darwin, on Thursday afternoon.

A helicopter crew was summoned, and the trawler made its way to Borroloola, inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria, where the victim was pronounced dead, police added.

The incident occured 400 miles east of the capital Darwin. Image: Google Maps
The incident occured 400 miles east of the capital Darwin. Image: Google Maps

Craig Garraway, from St John Ambulance, told ABC News: “A trawler off Groote Eylandt had reported that one of their male crewmen had been bitten by a sea snake.

“The Groote Island health clinic and police responded to the trawler, but unfortunately the male passed away at some point yesterday afternoon.”

Inquiries are continuing and a postmortem will be carried out.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who had died in the Northern Territory and are in contact with the Australian authorities.”

It is the second death of a British man while working on a fishing boat in the north of the country in five years.

In November 2013 a 20-year-old UK-born man died while working on a prawn trawler. – PA