Brown snakes are good swimmers. File photo: Michael Paridaen
Brown snakes are good swimmers. File photo: Michael Paridaen

‘Hundreds’ of brown snakes at popular coastal spot

We know there are plenty of snakes on the Northern Rivers.

And generally, if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone.

But a discussion about the prevalence of brown snakes at one popular coastal spot will have us being extra careful next time we're in the area.

Posting to the Brunswick Heads Community Page, Rita Bremer asked: "Does anybody know if anybody has been bitten by a brown snake while walking along the Brunswick (Heads) wall?"

She was inundated with scary stories about the large number of snakes in the vicinity.

Liz Gillett: "There are hundreds of them and I don't think anyone has been bitten. As long as you don't meander into the dunes you are fairly safe. You have to remember they aren't looking to hunt or hurt people bites are a defensive outcome of wrong place, wrong time in their territory, which isn't usually where lots of people hang out or well walked paths."

Elendel McCasker: "Yesterday (Tuesday) we saw a brown snake swim over the river to the rock wall between the pirate ship and ramp. Kids everywhere."

 

Kylie Tonks took this photo of a brown snake on the Brunswick Heads wall. She shared it to the Brunswick Heads Community Page.
Kylie Tonks took this photo of a brown snake on the Brunswick Heads wall. She shared it to the Brunswick Heads Community Page.

Margaret Wright: "There are a lot of browns in that area. Have seen them near the surf club, at the community centre across the road and the wall."

Anthea Kendrick: "Had a brown snake slither over our towels years ago at Torakina."

Jo Garton: "A few years ago I heard about someone bitten by a baby brown snake on the edge of the Bruns beach area very near the rock wall."

Ann Michele: "I saw a large brown chasing a dragon on the surf beach."

Alexandra Cornwell: "Have never heard of anyone being bitten. Not sure what kind, but a snake approximately 1.8m long swimming towards Torakina on an incoming tide at dusk."

John Murphy: "You are probably only 7m from a snake most of the time and you wouldn't even know."

Michelle Begg: "We saw one swim across the river to Harrys Hill … it had to warm up on the sand before moving off into the rocks."

While it's good to hear bites are uncommon, it's helpful to know what to do if you or someone near you is bitten.

 

Snake bite first aid

Get the person away from the snake

Ensure they rest and help them to stay calm

Call triple-0 (000) and ask for an ambulance

Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage

Don't wash the bite area - venom left on the skin can help identify the snake

If you can't use a pressure immobilisation bandage because the bite is on the trunk or stomach, apply constant, firm pressure

Do not apply a tourniquet, cut the wound or attempt to suck the venom out.

(Source: Health Direct)