Rod bitten by deadly snake, grabs beer and hopes for best

ROD SOMMERVILLE: If I'm going to cark it I'm going to have a beer.
ROD SOMMERVILLE: If I'm going to cark it I'm going to have a beer. Allan Reinikka Rokasnake

IF YOU think you're about to die, you might as well grab a cold one before you go.

At least that's what Rod Sommerville did when thinking he might "cark it" after an eastern brown snake bit him in his backyard in Yeppoon last month.

The 54-year-old was moving a few pot plants in his yard when the two and half foot snake nipped him on the finger.

Rod's reaction was to grab his shovel and "whack it on the head".

As soon as he was done with the snake, he called an ambulance, grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat down.

"I said to myself, if I'm going to cark it I'm going to have a beer, so I got a Goldie out of the fridge and drank that; 'cause you know eastern browns are the second most venomous snake in the world," Rod said

Rod's teenage son was on the couch and slept through the whole thing because Rod didn't want to wake him and make anyone panic.

"If you panic it makes it worse," he said.

Rod was taken straight to the Yeppoon Hospital, but transferred a short while later to Rockhampton to get the anti-venom.

But his ordeal wasn't over just yet, with Rod suffering an allergic reaction to the anti-venom. He ended up spending four days in intensive care.

Rod still isn't out of hospital after three weeks.

"The reaction nearly killed me as well, so it was a double whammy," he said.

Rod's kidneys were affected and that's kept him in hospital recovering for weeks.

JOE BLAKE: Snake catcher Anthony Zink wants people to be aware that snakes like this eastern brown are out in numbers. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
JOE BLAKE: Snake catcher Anthony Zink wants people to be aware that snakes like this eastern brown are out in numbers. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail Scottie Simmonds


  • The eastern brown snake:
  • It's found throughout the eastern half of mainland Australia
  • Known for their bad temper
  • Responsible for more deaths every year in Australia than any other group of snakes
  • Venom is the second most toxic of any land snake in the world

Topics:  ambulance eastern brown snake editors picks snake bite

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