Chopper crew save man’s life
A NORTH Queensland charter boat operator has told of the excruciating pain of being harpooned by the barb of a cone snail and thanked rescuers who he believes saved his life.
Henry Moore is no stranger to pain, having been stung by a jellyfish, a stingray, bees and two white- tailed spiders.
But he said nothing couldd have prepared him for the excruciating ordeal of being hit by a potentially deadly cone snail last month on a remote beach on Whitsunday Island.
The 25- year- old moored his vessel, the Tongarra, in Tongue Bay on a tourist charter last month before he waded barefoot into the water and was hit by a snail’s barb between his fourth and fifth toe.
Cone snail venom can cause serious pain and the most serious cases can involve muscle paralysis and respiratory failure that can lead to death.
“It was incredibly painful and at first I thought I’d been nipped by a big mud crab, but by the time I got back to the Tongarra, I realised the pain was getting more and more intense and that it must have been something venomous,” Mr Moore said.
Mr Moore’s sting is believed to be only the second cone snail sting recorded in the Whitsundays.
“It was absolute agony, my whole body was in spasm and tensing up,” Mr Moore said.
The Mackay- based RACQ CQ Rescue received an urgent call out as Mr Moore began experiencing respiratory failure.
“I was really panicking and in a huge amount of pain,” Mr Moore said.
“I remember laying on the back deck of the boat listening to the VHF radio and hearing that the rescue chopper was coming. They were relaying instructions and telling us to treat it like a snake bite.”
Mr Moore was transferred from the anchored vessel by inflatable boat to the helicopter, which landed on a narrow patch of sand at Tongue Bay.
This week, Mr Moore and girlfriend Kendall visited the RACQ CQ Rescue hangar at the Mackay Airport to meet the crew who saved his life.
“I really can’t thank the CQ Rescue guys enough.” he said.
“Without them, I really don’t think I would have made it if I had to travel back to Mackay by road.”
JUST IN TIME: Henry Moore is taken to a rescue helicopter from a beach on Whitsunday Island; ( inset) Mr Moore with RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Martin Cleland, left, and Rescue Crewman Ethan Clissold.