A South Australian dad has put himself between danger and his daughter, after the curious toddler encountered a deadly Eastern Brown Snake.

Noticing she’d become distracted by something in the hallway, Jake Coombe used his body to shield her.

The father who lives with his family on an acreage told The Advertiser they’d just returned from holiday.

“Alba was carrying a fishing reel, and I saw her drop it, to run for something.”


He then noticed “something on the ground flare up at her.”

“So, I ran over, grabbed her. It flared up then got me. I knew there was a chance of being bitten,” Coombe explained.

“I couldn’t risk letting my daughter copping the bite.”

Jake said he was more relieved he was able to get to his daughter on time than worried about his own injury.

The circumstances could’ve been much worse had he not used his body to shield Alba from Eastern Brown.

“It would have been a different story if Alba got to it – she could have picked it up and wouldn’t have got away so quickly, better me than her, that’s for sure,” he mused.

As retold by News.com, Coombes drove himself to hospital, after calling in his father-in-law for assistance.

He was bitten on the foot, and spent 24hr under observation in hospital.

Newsweek said the Brown Snake did not use any venom, calling the attack a “dry bite”.

Coombes, a baker by trade, lives in what’s known as Murraylands, a regional area West of Adelaide.

He described the event as a “close call,” telling 7News, “seeing snakes around the property wasn’t unusual.”

“Still, this was a shock,” he said, “I keep thinking about what would have happened to my daughter if I hadn’t seen” the snake.

Considered a dad’s intuitive response, Jake Coombs actions are also an example of fathering as selfless servanthood.

Or more accurately termed: servant-leadership.

Men helping others, by putting themselves in harms-way defines the internal outworking of the vocation of fatherhood.

Men loving their neighbour, as they love themselves, as the Good Book repeatedly declares.

For there is no greater love it states, than that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

Pennsylvania University labelled fatherhood the epitome of servant leadership.

Likewise, Dads4Kids own Warwick Marsh wrote in 2018,

“Our children are waiting for good leadership from their dads. To be a father is to be a leader.”

“Men are leaders and must accept the responsibilities of leadership in society”, Warwick explained.

“Women are leaders too, but if men don’t lead in the right way along with women, we are all in a really bad way.”

Citing the International Men’s Day website, Warwick spoke about how servant leadership is “men leading by example.”

He rightly concluded, “the essence of being a great dad is to become a great servant leader.”

Jake Coombes putting himself between his daughter and harm, is a true picture of this self-giving servant side to the dad-life.

One of the many strengths, and characteristics unique to fatherhood is the instinctive way men jump into the line of fire, when the proverbial sugar-honey-ice-tea hits the family.

Fatherhood is a vocation of selflessness.

Servant leadership is an instinctive masculine response to man’s higher calling.

This isn’t natural selection, and it sure isn’t “toxic masculinity”.

Jake Coombes saved Alba, because real dads put themselves between danger and their daughter.


Photo by Rod Waddington.

About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.


  1. Dieter Fischer March 20, 2023 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Not that I would ever disagree with the bible, but would it not be greater love to lay down your life for an enemy?
    Realistically, few of us ever will have to prove either sacrifice, at least not in the true sense of the text.
    (PS West of Adelaide is St. Vincent Gulf. The Murraylands are east.)

    • Samuel Hartwich March 27, 2023 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      Indeed, and this Paul’s point in Romans 5:6–10!

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