Chop­per crew save man’s life

SNAIL SHELL­SHOCK

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY rachel. ri­ley@ news. com. au

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.”

Pic­tures: RACQ CQ Res­cue

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.

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