Boatie ‘lucky’ to survive
LIKE a bee sting and then pins and needles — that’s how Mitchell Ogg describes being bitten by one of the world’s most venomous creatures.
The Roleystone electrician was pulling up cray pots with his brother near Garden Island on Friday morning when a small but deadly blueringed octopus fell on to the boat deck.
Not wearing any shoes, he got “whacked” by the lethal creature when he inadvertently stood on it.
The 28-year-old could feel the venom go into his bare foot.
Mitchell said it was “like a bee sting” just above his toes and then his “body went into tingles” with “pins and needles and numbness all over”.
The bite, which is often not painful, can cause muscle paralysis and breathing difficulties within minutes.
“When you think you’ve got six minutes to live ... the panic kicks in ... and I just tried to stay calm about it,” Mitchell said.
Worried that he was going to die, Mitchell messaged his partner to explained what had happened and to tell her that he loved her.
His brother, Ryan, dialled 000 to get first-aid advice and notify the emergency services. The brothers tried to remain calm as they made a desperate dash to Garden Island.
A camper supplied bandages before medics at HMAS Stirling waded out to the boat to provide help. Mitchell was then rushed to Rockingham Hospital by ambulance. Fortunately the venom hadn’t spread.
It was the second reported encounter in WA with the lethal octopus in a week.
Last weekend, a Perth girl was lucky not to have been bitten when a blue-ringed octopus emerged from a collection of shells she had brought home from Coogee Beach.
The girl’s aunt was cleaning the shells when the octopus came out of the shell. Luckily, no one was bitten.
Blue-ringed octopuses are generally six to 10cm long. They usually only display their iridescent blue markings when they feel threatened or are about to strike.
The brothers thanked the team of paramedics, the people on Garden Island who helped them, and the triple zero operators who talked them through the ordeal.
Mitchell knows he probably should have been wearing dive boots and urged others to be vigilant.
“I can’t thank the blokes and ladies who helped me, especially my brother,” he said.