A mother is lucky to be alive after being bitten by a deadly brown snake while hiking in a remote gorge, sparking a tricky seven-hour rescue mission.
Megan Brouwer, 36, was with her husband and young son when the highly venomous snake lunged at her in Karijini National Park.
The outback wilderness is 1300km northeast of Perth and 300km from the family home in the nearest town of Port Hedland on the state’s northwest coast.
“I turned around and saw her slipping and thought ‘damn that was a close call’ and my husband said ‘no it was actually on your feet and it was hitting you'” , Ms. Brouwer told 9 News.
Port Hedland resident Megan Brouwer was hiking with her husband and five-year-old son on April 24 when a highly venomous brown snake lunged at her in Karijini National Park.
By a stroke of luck an off-duty medic was nearby who quickly applied a pressure dressing to Ms Brouwer’s wound (pictured, the start of the rescue effort)
“I had a puncture wound and fresh blood and I was in a bit of a panic then what to do.”
By a stroke of luck, an off-duty doctor was nearby and quickly applied a pressure dressing to Ms Brouwer’s wound.
The doctor, who was also armed with a child’s first aid kit and a satellite phone, then raised the alarm with emergency teams.
A mammoth seven-hour rescue from the bottom of one of WA’s steepest gorges followed, with the mother “eternally grateful” to the doctor and the rescue team.
The emergency team worked for seven hours to get Ms Brouwer to safety in a remote WA gorge after she was bitten by a brown snake.
Brown snakes (pictured) have the second most poisonous snake venom in the world
It was no easy task, Ms Brouwer floated over three pools of water on a stretcher before then being lifted up a narrow path lined with dozens of loose rocks.
“I couldn’t quite figure out how they were going to put me on a stretcher, but they did,” Ms Brouwer said.
Ms Brouwer also stressed the importance of having a first aid kit on hikes as it “can make all the difference”.
What to do if you are bitten by a brown snake:
Keep calm and carefully follow these steps:
- Keep the person away from the snake
- Make sure they rest and help them stay calm
- Call triple zero (000) and request an ambulance.
- Apply a compression immobilization bandage
- Do not wash the bite area – venom left on the skin can help identify the snake