A Queensland family is mourning the death of a 69-year-old father who was fatally bitten by a venomous snake in a small town south of Mackay.
He is being remembered as a selfless friend who was attacked as he was stepping into to save a mate who had been bitten first.
Koumala State School was flooded with former students on Saturday for the school's 100-year anniversary when celebrations took a tragic turn after sun down.
Clare Bertenshaw from Queensland Ambulance Service said the snake was wrapped around the leg of the victim's friend.
"He was helping remove that snake," she said.
After removing the snake, the reptile turned on the 69-year-old.
He was bitten on the arm and his condition rapidly declined.
Paramedics worked on the man for more than half an hour, but were unable to save him.
Bertenshaw said judging from the patient's symptoms, including cardiac collapse, it was likely a brown snake took the man's life, although that was "just a guess".
The man's friend is reportedly safe, after being taken to Mackay Base Hospital for treatment and discharged on Sunday.
Snake bites in Australia are relatively common with about 3000 occurring annually but fatal bites are rare.
There are warnings a boom in activity is on the way due to a warmer than usual winter feeding into the start of snake season.
Joshua Castle from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers said calls to his business had "quadrupled" since the first of August.
"At this time of year, they're breeding, so they're out looking for a partner," he said.
If you spot one at home or work, a snake catcher can come and relocate it.
If you're bitten by a snake, official advice is to call triple zero immediately and in the meantime, apply a pressure immobilisation bandage.
It is also important to limit the spread of venom.
"You need to lie down, stay still as possible," Bertenshaw said.