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article imageDeadly Brown snake takes to surf at Forster beach

By Richard van der Draay     Jan 7, 2015 in Environment
Forster - Visitors to a beach near Forster on New South Wales’ mid-north coast expected a shark sighting when the lifeguard whistled, yet the call concerned a venomous brown snake.
The deadly snake emerged from the waves at One Mile Beach, right in-between the flags as though following the safety rules on Australian beaches.
"Tourists and locals fled from the water after the whistles were blown,” said Olivia Moffatt, a local who was at the beach. “At first people were concerned it may have been a shark, only to discover a 1.5-metre brown snake.”
Along with most other swimmers in the surf, Moffatt at first believed it was a sea snake. “Raising its head, it headed for shade towards the lifeguard trailer and happily sat there until again moving up along the beach to the bush.”
“On the way, as we were leaving, the snake began heading back down towards the sea at a quicker pace, but was not in the ocean as we left,” she added.
"The snake travelled out of the water and remained on the shore for a while until waves washed up against it. Raising its head, it headed for shade towards the lifeguard trailer and happily sat there until again moving up along the beach to the bush. On the way, as we were leaving, the snake began heading back down towards the sea at a quicker pace, but was not in the ocean as we left," she said.
A helpful snake expert by the name of John Smith advised a lifeguard over the phone. "I told him to just stay behind the snake," said Smith. "He said it was moving south towards the rocks and that he would call back if he needed any more help and I never heard back so it must have gone towards the rocks."
Brown snakes are considered one of the world’s most venomous terrestrial snakes. They can grow up to 2.4m in length. The species have been known to frequent sand dunes along the NSW coast, on the hunt for prey such as rodents.
A Forster resident noted that locals often spot snakes in the bush leading down to the sandy beach, but couldn’t remember even having seen one in the waves. And most certainly not between the flags.
More about Snake, Beach, Lifeguard, Australia
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