Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer

‘If I’m going to cark it [die], I’m going to have a beer,’ he said

Adam Withnall
Sunday 09 March 2014 15:52
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An eastern brown snake, the second-most venomous type in the world
An eastern brown snake, the second-most venomous type in the world

An Australian man who thought he was going to die after being bitten by a snake reacted in the only way he knew how – by reaching for a cold beer.

Rod Sommerville, 54, was moving plant pots around in his garden when the two-and-a-half foot eastern brown snake emerged and bit him on the finger.

Realising he had been struck by the second-most venomous snake in the world, Mr Sommerville instinctively grabbed a shovel and “whacked it on the head”.

With that out of the way, he called an ambulance, got a beer from the fridge and sat down to wait for help.

According to the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, Mr Sommerville’s teenage son was napping on the sofa at the time – and was allowed to sleep through the whole ordeal because his father didn’t want to cause a fuss.

“I said to myself, if I'm going to cark it (die) I'm going to have a beer, so I got a Goldie (XXXX Gold) out of the fridge and drank that,” he told the newspaper.

Explaining how he remained so calm, he said simply: “If you panic it makes it worse.”

Mr Sommerville, from Yeppoon, Central Queensland, was taken to the local hospital before being transferred to Rockhampton to receive anti-venom.

He then suffered an allergic reaction to the treatment, spent four days in intensive care and still hadn’t been discharged three weeks later.

The eastern brown snake is responsible for more deaths in Australia than any other, and famed for its foul temper.

Admitting how close he was to death despite his casual approach to the situation, Mr Sommerville said: “The reaction nearly killed me as well, so it was a double whammy.”

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