Kayaker bitten by rattlesnake, cousin clarifies story; victim’s condition upgraded

A day on the water turned into a man’s fight for life after a rattlesnake fell into his boat as he was going down the river.

But the man’s cousin said that’s not exactly what happen, despite what first responders said.

Colleton County fire-rescue said that Michael Adams, 28, bitten when the snake fell into his boat from a tree, WCIV reported.

The man was enjoying the Edisto River in Colleton County, South Carolina, Sunday.  It bit the 28-year-old man twice on the hand before the man's friends grabbed the snake and got their injured buddy to land, WLTX reported.

But Adam’s cousin said that while Adams suffered rattlesnake bites, it didn’t happen exactly as first responders said.

Kyle Colquitt, explained what happened and said that Adams went over to what he thought was an alligator in the water, but when he realized it was a snake, he reached down and grabbed it, WCIV reported.

The snake bit Adams three times, not the two that the fire-rescue crew said.

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Paramedics were able to get to the site within 12 minutes to take him to an area hospital, WLTX reported.

Colquitt said that one of their kayaking crew had a snake bite kit and used that before medics arrived, WCIV reported.

He was admitted to the intensive care unit before being taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he was listed in critical condition, WLTX reported.

Adams is now in good condition

Experts say rattlesnake bites are painful and can attribute to medical problems, but aren't usually fatal if a patient is treated correctly, WLTX reported.

The symptoms of a rattlesnake bite come on fast, according to Healthline.com, and include:

  • Severe pain.
  • Drooping eyelids.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Thirst.
  • Tiredness or muscle weakness.

Healthline.com also says to look for two puncture wounds with swelling, redness and pain at the site, difficulty breathing, vomiting and nausea, blurred vision, sweating and salivating and numbness in the face and limbs.

If you are bitten, Healthline.com says to:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Note the time.
  • Keep calm and still. Movement can make the venom to spread through the body.
  • Remove constricting clothing or jewelry. The area will probably swell.
  • Don't walk.
  • Don't kill or handle the snake. Take a photo if you can but don't search it out.
  • Don't use a tourniquet.
  • Don't cut into the bite.
  • Don't use a cold compress.
  • Don't give medications unless directed by a doctor.
  • Don't raise the bite higher than the person's heart.
  • Don't try to suck out the venom.

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