British backpacker, 23, killed by a sea snake bite while working on an Australian trawler asked ‘will I be all right?’ before losing consciousness
- Harry Evans was working on-board trawler off Northern Territory last year
- The 23-year-old was bitten by what is believed to be black-banded sea snake
- Vessel’s first mate told Englishman he would ‘be fine’ after the bite, court heard
- Medical staff were on-board six hours later but Mr Evans could not be saved
An English backpacker who died after he was bitten by a sea snake on a prawn trawler asked ‘will I be all right?’ before losing consciousness.
Harry Evans, 23, was working on-board the trawler about 75km north-east of Bing Bong in Northern Territory’s Gulf of Carpentaria when he was bitten on October 4 last year.
The vessel’s first mate said he did not know about the danger of the creature – believed to be a black-banded sea snake – and told Mr Evans he would ‘be fine’ after he was bitten at about 8.30am.
English backpacker Harry Evans (pictured) who died after he was bitten by a sea snake on a prawn trawler asked ‘am I going to be all right’ before losing consciousness
Harry Evans, 23, was working on-board the trawler about 75km north-east of Bing Bong close to the remote island of Groote Eylandt (pictured) in Northern Territory’s Gulf of Carpentaria when he was bitten on October 4
‘He (Harry) asked me ‘will I be all right’ and I was unsure but I was trying to calm him down so I said ‘you’ll be fine’,’ the first mate Chad Hastings told an inquest on Tuesday.
Mr Hastings said he only discovered how venomous the snakes were when he Googled the British worker’s symptoms, the NT News reported.
What is a black-banded sea snake?
There are 70 known species of of the black-banded sea snake.
They are normally found near coral reefs in tropical and sub-tropical waters in the western Pacific Ocean and northern Australia.
Sea snake researcher at James Cook University Dr. Blanche D’Anastasi said they were ‘by and large very gentle animals’.
Their venom is toxic but the creature is largely described as non-aggressive
The skipper of the WA Seafood Exporters trawler Nicholas Huard made an emergency call and applied a compression bandage but Mr Evans then began convulsing, the court heard.
By the time medical staff arrived six hours later, he had lost consciousness and was unable to be saved.
In an emotional statement submitted to the coroner, the British backpacker’s mother said her son had had his future stolen away from him.
‘I have lost one of the two most important things in my life, my reason for everything and my purpose,’ she said.
‘George has lost his twin, his best friend, his constant companion who should have been there for life.’
The court also heard the skipper regretted not contacting the Englishman’s mother when Mr Evans’ condition started to deteriorate.
Mr Evans’ death is the second in Australian history resulting from a sea snake bite, with the last being recorded in 1934.
The inquest will continue on Wednesday.
The vessel’s first mate said he did not know about the danger of the creature – believed to be a black-banded sea snake – and told Mr Evans (pictured) he would ‘be fine’ after he was bitten at about 8.30am