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British backpacker asked ‘will I be alright?’ before he died from snakebite, inquest hears | UK News



A British backpacker who died after being bitten by a sea snake asked “will I be alright?” before losing consciousness, an inquest has reportedly heard.

Harry Evans was working on a prawn trawler when he was bitten in the Gulf of Carpentaria, northeast of Bing Bong in northern Australia, on 4 October last year.

The 23-year-old, from Poole in Dorset, is thought to have been bitten by a black-banded sea snake.

Chad Hastings, the trawler’s first mate, said he did not know about the danger of the creature after Mr Evans was bitten at around 8:30am, NT News in Australia reported.

Mr Hastings is said to have told the inquest on Tuesday: “He (Mr Evans) asked me ‘will I be alright’ and I was unsure but I was trying to calm him down so I said ‘you’ll be fine’.”

He reportedly added that he only discovered how venomous the snakes were when he looked up Mr Evans’ symptoms on Google.

Black-banded sea snakes are found in the Pacific Ocean
Black-banded sea snakes are found in the Pacific Ocean

Nicholas Huard, skipper of the WA Seafood Exporters trawler, told the inquest there was some confusion about where the trawler should go after he contacted emergency services, ABC News reported.

Mr Huard said: “Instructions weren’t really clear until I said on the phone ‘where am I going, Groote or Bing Bong?’ and they said ‘Bing Bong’.

“I travelled roughly an hour north in the wrong way.”

A pathology report said to have been read out in court stated it would not have made a difference to Mr Evans.

Sharon Evans, the backpacker’s mother, reportedly said her son had his “future stolen away” from him in an emotional statement submitted to the coroner.

She said: “I have lost one of the two most important things in my life, my reason for everything and my purpose.

“George has lost his twin, his best friends, his constant companion who should have been there for life.”

Mr Huard reportedly said he regretted not contacting Mrs Evans when her son’s condition began to deteriorate.

Black-banded sea snakes have a highly venomous bite and are found in most of the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.

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