Skip to comments.Army trainee died from cottonmouth bites
Posted on 09/17/2008 9:41:54 AM PDT by Rebelbase
FORT BRAGG (AP) The Army says a Special Forces trainee found dead this summer during a land navigation exercise in North Carolina was bitten by a poisonous water moccasin, also known as a cottonmouth.
The military said Wednesday the autopsy of 20-year-old Pfc. Norman M. Murburg of Dade City, Fla., ruled out heat or dehydration as a cause of death. Murburg was bitten multiple times while training at the Hoffman training area near Fort Bragg's Camp Mackall.
Soldiers began searching for Murburg when he didn't return from the exercise. His body was found June 10. Authorities met with Murburg's family to explain the autopsy results.
Maj. Gen. Thomas Csrnko, who commands the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, said the death reinforces the dangerous training for Green Beret candidates.
What a terrible way to die. Prayers for his family.
It took 4 months to determine the cause of death?
Horrible! Poor young man.
A water skiing buddy of mine wiped out in a nest of these critters. After pulling him out of the reeds he died in the boat heading back to shore. Never had a chance.
Cottonmouths are dangerous and will strike multiple times when threatened.
Prayers for the family and the other solders training in these dangerous conditions.
These snakes can and will bite anything, dead or alive ~.
They are not particularly aggressive, but you can run into them in the darndest places.
How very sad. Prayers for his family and friends. Thanks to the soldier for giving his life for the people of the USA.
Norman M. Murburg
I am so sorry to hear this. It’s the reptilian equivalent of being attacked by a tiger. They are aggressive biters that will pursue anything they consider to be a threat or prey, and they are capable of attacking multiple times...
Prayers for this young man’s family - may they be comforted knowing that his sacrifice for his country was not forgotten.
I have very few creatures I will shoot on site - but the cottonmouth (water moccasin) in one of those. However, not all water snakes are water moccasins, so I’ve gone to great lengths to learn to ID them properly. I also have tried to leave turtles and other snakes in my ponds to help control the water moccasin population naturally.
In high school...we had a local kid...around 16....who was water skiing and ran into a nest of them...he was dead within ten minutes. In Bama....I’ll bet five or six guys die each year from incidents like that. They don’t collect data like that because it’d scare folks too much.
“They are not particularly aggressive, but you can run into them in the darndest places.”
Have you ever encountered one? Ive been attacked in my canoe more than once. I assure you I was doing nothing to provoke them other than passing through the area. They are quite aggressive and easy to trigger.
Hoffman is where the land navigation and (sometimes) the “events” for SF Selection take place..as well as large portions of the SF “Q” course...humped those sandy hills mucho...more than once was “busting a draw” only to realize that if i got hurt they’d find my body 6 months later if my family was lucky....
I suspect it took four months because one would expect an SF trainee to know how to self treat a snakebite and especially that once bitten, to either immediately kill the snake or, get away from it because the snake will continue to strike.
Other questions would be was there any evidence the soldier attempted self treatment?
Was there any evidence the soldier attemted to seek outside help?
Was there any evidence the soldier was not alone?
Agree. They do not run away like most snakes they stand their ground. Just like a snapping turtle. But, they are not usually deadly. Unusual. They are everywhere in the South. Espically around water. I killed 5 this year 20 feet from my front door. So not tell Moureen Dowd as she would call me a red-neck woman.
I’m from Mississippi, you get stoked by a nest of them and you’re done for.
I’ve see nests of em look like Medusa’s head
modeled after my ex-wife
I doubt they were out actively hunting down canoes!~
I have twice seen cottonmouths attack completely unprovoked. The first time, my brother was just about to step out of a boat when one came within a split second of getting him. Our cousin saw the snake and hit him with an oar just as he was striking. I can still see that white mouth wide open as he was about to hit.
The second time was this year. I saw one in my yard, went back in and got a pistol and to my surprise when I got within about 10 feet of him he turned and came for me. I had rat shot in the pistol and hit him. I had to shoot him again with a solid to finish him off.
They are aggressive as all get out.
A cottonmouth is one of the few things I will actually RUN away from as fast as I can.......
Where did that happen?
I can relate to this.
I got bit by a cottonmouth in 1959. We lived out in the boonies in Annapolis, Maryland and one morning one had come up through the septic system and was in the toilet. Since I was a kid and dumber than a rock, I tried to fish the snake out. It bit me and I then got to find out about anti-venom shots, tetanus immunizations, and several other things that were unpleasant.
I was really sick for about a week.
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