Man re­cov­er­ing af­ter cone snail sting

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

HENRY James Moore will never for­get the day he was stung by a cone snail off Whit­sun­day Is­land, near fa­mous White­haven Beach.

The 25-year-old skip­per of the tourist boat Ton­garra had been walk­ing bare­foot in shal­low wa­ter when the cone snail har­poon pen­e­trated his skin.

The Mackay-based RACQ CQ Res­cue team re­ceived an ur­gent call­out just be­fore 11.30am on Tues­day, with in­for­ma­tion Mr Moore was experiencing re­s­pi­ra­tory fail­ure.

Cone snail venom can cause lo­calised pain, swell- ing, vom­it­ing and in se­vere cases mus­cle paral­y­sis, vi­sion im­pair­ment, res­pi­rato- ry fail­ure and even death.

“The pain started to creep up my calf mus­cle and then my knee,” Mr Moore said.

“I started hav­ing ham­string cramps and then back spasms and it sort of took over my whole body over 40min­utes.”

Mr Moore was trans­ferred by in­flat­able boat to the RACQ CQ Res­cue he­li­copter that had landed on a nar­row patch of sand at Tongue Bay.

RACQ CQ Res­cue crew of­fi­cer Ethan Clis­sold ex­plained that with the in­com­ing tide, the land­ing site was fast be­com­ing com­pro­mised.

“If we had any de­lays in get­ting him on the he­li­copter so the med­i­cal team could sta­bilise and ad­min­is­ter pain re­lief, we would have needed to re­think our land­ing strat­egy, wast­ing pre­cious time in the process,” he said.

The mission was com­pleted in less than two hours, with Mr Moore ad­mit­ted to the Mackay Base Hos­pi­tal for pain re­lief be­fore be­ing re­leased at 7pm that night.

“That two hours felt like 15 hours to me,” Mr Moore said, adding this was a “pure, fluke ac­ci­dent”.

“(But) I’m glad it was me and not one of my pas­sen­gers,” he said.

DEADLY: A cone snail.

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