Harry Evans, 23, a British backpacker killed by a sea snake in Australia, has been remembered as a kind-hearted young man who made everyone laugh
A British backpacker killed by a sea snake in Australia has been remembered as a kind-hearted young man who made everyone laugh.
Harry Evans died on Thursday just two hours after he was bitten while working on a fishing trawler off the Northern Territory, near the remote island of Groote Eylandt.
The 23-year-old was the first person ever to die from a sea snake bite in Australia, and would have been saved if he had received anti-venom in time.
Originally from Poole in Dorset, southern England, Mr Evans was on a working holiday in Australia, earning cash on the boat to fund his travels.
Friends mourned the former Poole High School pupil on social media, expressing their shock at his sudden death miles from home.
‘You were one of the most kind-hearted and funniest people I’ve ever met. Always made everyone laugh and smile,’ George Jackson-Carter wrote.
Mr Evans died on Thursday just two hours after he was bitten while working on a fishing trawler off the Northern Territory, near the remote island of Groote Eylandt
Mr Evans with his friend Megan Coetzee who mourned him as her ‘best friend’ on Facebook after learning of his death
Gino Coen wrote: ‘Such a shock. He was such a good lad! Will never forget that smile of his!’
Tobias Snow wrote: ‘What a massive shock. Had many of laughs with him and his brother back in the day.’
Mr Evans was bitten as he pulled a net aboard the boat, which the extremely venomous snake was caught in, at midday on Thursday.
A rescue helicopter was dispatched from Darwin, about 700km away, but the young man was dead before they even arrived, CareFlight’s David Wheeldon said.
Mr Evans was officially declared dead when the trawler reached the coastal town of Borroloola, police said.
St John Ambulance spokesman Craig Garraway said there was little emergency services could do to help him in such a remote location.
He said Mr Evans would have died within two hours of being bitten as sea snakes in Australia were so deadly.
The Marine Education Society of Australasia confirmed Mr Evans’ death was the first in the country caused by a sea snake.
‘Had he received anti-venom he almost certainly would have survived,’ Associate Professor Bryan Fry, who studies venom at the University of Queensland, said.
Emergency crews were called to the boat, near island Groote Eylandt off the coast of the Northern Territory, but were unable to save the man
Sea snakes are venomous but are considered to be non-aggressive and rarely attack unless provoked. The snake is understood to have become agitated as it was dragged in the net
Some 30 of the 70 known species of sea snake – marine reptiles found in tropical waters – are found in Australia.
Sea snakes are venomous but are considered to be non-aggressive and rarely attack unless provoked. The snake is understood to have become agitated as it was dragged in the net.
The Marine Education Society of Australasia said most sea snake bites occur on trawlers, although only a small proportion are fatal to humans as it is rare for much venom to be injected.
NT Police were investigating and a post mortem would be conducted.
‘We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in the Northern Territory and are in contact with the Australian authorities,’ the UK Foreign Office said.