A British influencer couple have recalled the dramatic events that cut short a visit to Queensland's Fraser Island after a frightening attack from a snake.
Their video on Tiktok has been viewed over 3 million times on their GeeBeeTV account and attracted national media attention. Snakebite victim Ben has opened up to Yahoo News about the moment their holiday went wrong.
“We had booked a three-day tour of Fraser Island, and only made it through the first one,” he lamented.
Ben and his girlfriend Georgia were well aware of the dangers lurking in the Australian bush. It’s just that dingoes rather than snakes were occupying their minds as they set up camp on K’gari (Fraser Island) on Friday night.
The next morning as the dingoes wandered away in search of food, Ben set up his new drone to capture the sunrise. He was unaware that an eastern brown snake had been spotted in the area.
Drone crash leads to bite from deadly snake
Moments later, he made an unfortunate miscalculation and crashed his drone into nearby sand dunes. “I changed into my trainers as it was steep ground in places, as I walked off the sand into the grass, my mind was occupied with retrieving the drone,” he said.
“I managed to find the drone at the top of the dune and made my way back down, I've watched nature shows my whole life and I'm pretty switched on with keeping my wits about me, especially in Australia.
“I’m not sure if it was the adrenaline of getting the drone back or assuming that snakes wouldn't be at the beach, but I just didn't even question it, until I stepped on this darkish thing quite deep in the grass, felt like a stabbing pain, looked down at my ankle and saw blood.”
Race to get help after snake bite
Once he got back to his truck where Georgia was waiting, Ben had a devastating realisation that the stabbing pain was from a snake bite. They had no phone reception and Ben was concerned there could be venom in his ankle. Eastern brown snake venom can kill in less than 30 minutes.
Georgia woke up a sleeping family at 5.30am and they sprung into action. The mother ordered Ben not to move, circled the bite area using a marker and wrapped it in a bandage with the time written on it.
The husband and his friend Lloyd carried Ben to their Landcruiser and they headed across the beach in search of an emergency phone. Within 40 minutes an RACQ LifeFlight helicopter arrived.
Test results from snake bite delivered
Georgia was left behind because the chopper was at capacity, and she had to venture to Hervey Bay Hospital on the mainland on her own. When she arrived, the news was good.
“The helicopter landed and they rushed me into emergency services, the snake bite procedure requires 12 hours of blood monitoring,” Ben said. “They took bloods and hooked me up to all the monitoring machines.”
“The Nurses and Doctors at Hervey Bay hospital were amazing, constantly checking in and keeping me updated with any information.
“They removed the bandages after a set amount of time and inspected the bite. Both fangs had hit the ankle bone perfectly so it didn't inject venom... lucky escape.”
Ben said despite the series of unfortunate events, he hasn’t lost his positive outlook. “I love Australia and I will continue to explore it.” He’s also thankful to everyone who helped him after the attack and has vowed to always wear high boots when walking in long grass.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.