A black mamba was rescued from Glenashley Beach in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
The "Snake Man", Jason Arnold, said that fishermen on the beach noticed a large snake, about 2.3 metres long, among the waves and watched it get washed up onto the beach.
One of them knew Arnold and contacted him.
"He sent me a photo and I confirmed his suspicions that it was a Black Mamba," he said.
Arnold said the fisherman then called him again and said that a big wave broke on the shore and took the snake back out into the sea.
"I told them to just carry on watching until I got there. By the time I arrived, the mamba had literally just been washed up on the shore again and catching it was really easy because the snake was obviously quite exhausted," he said.
Arnold remained on the beach with the snake.
He said, "A brave young woman happily assisted me in holding the body up in the air, while I gently held the head facing down, allowing gravity to drain the much swallowed and inhaled water to drain out of it.
"Every time the snake exhaled, I could literally feel the vibrating of the gurgling water in its lung. And with every breath, a bit of water would drain out of the snake's mouth," he said.
Arnold said that once he had drained all of the water that wanted to come out, he safely bagged the snake in a large duvet cover.
He said he has taken the snake home where it will be kept under observation until it can be given a clean bill of health.
It would then be released into a suitable habitat away from humans.
He said he assumes the snake got washed down a storm water pipe that led out directly onto that beach with the heavy downpour on Tuesday.