A bite from a tiger snake can cause a victim to collapse within 15 minutes, so Australian man Bob Thatcher was understandably nervous when he spotted one just inches from his feet when his tiny fishing boat was 30 minutes from shore. The 80-year-old retired banker tells the Guardian that he had just dropped anchor in Lake Wellington in Victoria state when he saw the snake "flicking its tongue out." He tells 9News that he briefly considered jumping overboard, but he's not a strong swimmer. He managed to pull the anchor up after throwing a sweater over the snake. A tense ride back to shore in the 6-foot by 4-foot boat followed.
Thatcher says he used a few swear words during the ride to shore, but he's not going to repeat them. "I didn’t like the bugger—that’s all I'll say," he says. During the ride, he called his son, who arranged for snake catcher Baden Peter to meet him at the pier. Peter says the snake had made its way under the floor but he managed to grab it with tongs. "I released it back into the Heart Morass next to Lake Wellington," he tells the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "Pristine conditions for a snake." Experts say the tiger snake is one of Australia's most venomous snakes and Thatcher had a lucky escape. (Another venomous Australian snake was found in a plastic-wrapped lettuce.)