Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Sunday, 2 August 2009 17:23 UK

Man bitten by adder three times

Adders are not said to be aggressive creatures

A 31-year-old man has been airlifted to hospital after being bitten three times by an adder - Britain's only venomous snake.

Swansea Coastguard said he was at Caswell Bay beach in Gower at the time of the incident on Sunday afternoon.

The man was "weak, but conscious and breathing" after reports he vomited.

The Mumbles coastguard rescue team, RNLI beach lifeguards from Caswell Bay and the RAF rescue helicopter from Chivenor, Devon were at the scene.

The man was taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea for treatment.

The coastguard said they had been alerted just after 1430 BST.

A spokesman said: "We had a report of a gentleman bitten three times by a possible adder.

"We tasked Mumbles Coastguard Rescue Team who assisted the casualty and stabilised him and walked him out from his precarious position on a cliff path."

Adders are frequently seen on the west Wales coast where the sandy soils, coastal heath and the nature of the landscape suits them.

Although venomous, they are very timid and quickly disappear if disturbed. They are not said to be aggressive.

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