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Grandfather thanks app for saving life after dugite bite while walking in WA’s Great Southern region

A grandfather says a mobile phone app is to thank for saving his life after he was bitten by one the world’s deadliest snakes in WA bushland yesterday.

Charles Hamlet, 72, was walking a remote section of the Bibbulmun track near Denmark in WA’s south yesterday morning when he believes he was bitten by a dugite.

The experienced bushwalker said the highly venomous reptile was hidden in dense bush when he felt it latch on to his ankle.

“I felt a prick in the leg and I swore at the snake… very carefully,” he told 7 News Perth.

“Then I went a further five metres and sat down and went into first aid mode.

Charles Hamlet was bitten by the dugite as he walked part of the Bibbulmun Track near Denmark yesterday.Charles Hamlet was bitten by the dugite as he walked part of the Bibbulmun Track near Denmark yesterday.
Camera IconCharles Hamlet was bitten by the dugite as he walked part of the Bibbulmun Track near Denmark yesterday.

“I activated the emergency plus app and contacted triple-0.

“It was such a relief to see them, but I felt so guilty because it was raining and cold.”

Despite being in severe pain Mr Hamlet said he used an emergency services app to call for help, with the mobile’s GPS providing paramedics with his location.

Shortly after he was flown to Albany hospital, making a remarkable recovery that saw him discharged a mere 24 hours later.

Mr Hamlet says he’s now been bitten by a deadly snake not once but twice while bushwalking – fortunately this time it was what experts refer to as a ‘dry bite’ where the fangs pierced his skin but he wasn’t injected with venom.

Dugites are one of the most deadly snakes in the world with just one drop of venom able to cause the blood to clot, and it can kill within hours.

But expert Marc Lane, from the Armadale Reptile and Wildlife Centre, said advances in technology deaths from snakes should no longer occur.

“You should not die from a snake bite in Australia,” he said.

“With proper first aid, you have got plenty of time to get to hospital, they do the test and give you the anti-venom.”

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