Man recovering after water moccasin bite

By Scott Johnson - Reporter
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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A St. Johns County man is recovering after being bitten by a water moccasin Sunday.

Jon Heater is in Flagler Hospital and received six to seven units of antivenin. He is expected to remain in the hospital the next couple of days.

Heater came home from fishing Sunday south of St. Augustine after catching some red snappers. He was going to dump the fish guts in the woods when he felt a bite on his right ankle.

He didn't see the snake but knew he'd been bitten by it.

"They was cleaning fish from a good day of fishing, and he looked down and seen fang marks," said Stefan Schuler, Heater's friend.

St. Johns County Fire Rescue treated Heater in the 9000 block of U.S. 1 South about 2 p.m. Sunday. He said he didn't want to go to the hospital, but after he went home, he decided he should go.

"His momma said, 'No, no, you're going to the hospital,'" Schuler said. "So he went. It's a good thing."

Heater is the latest in a string of snake bites in northeast Florida. Putnam County has had four bites reported in recent weeks. In Nassau County, 4-year-old Brayden Bullard was bitten by a rattlesnake and died just weeks ago.

Schuler said it's a warning that's been echoed all summer long: Watch out for snakes because plenty of people have been bitten so far this year.

"With the weather we're having, with heat and all kinds of snakes, be careful, especially where they're out," Schuler said. "If you get bit, go to a hospital and get checked out."

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