According to a report filed by the OC Register, 54 year-old San Clemente surfer Jim Miller was bitten on his right foot by a rattlesnake while checking the waves at Trestles from a trail off of Basilone Road on Sunday afternoon.
“I heard the rattle just as he got me and then again as he was taking off,” Miller told the OC Register. “I knew it was a rattlesnake right away and called 911 with my cellphone.”
“At the hospital, the nurse asked me twice if my affairs were in order and if I had a will.”
Miller was taken to Saddleback Memorial Hospital, where he received treatment for pronounced swelling, heightened pulse, and tingling sensations in his eyes, lips, and fingertips. Although he was released once, Miller returned for additional treatment and is expected to return home today.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 800 rattlesnake bites are reported each year in California. Less than one percent of them fatal.
Surfers using trails to access the beach should take caution as rattlesnakes are typically more active during the months of March and April, when they awaken from winter hibernation to prey on small animals.