Tourists critical after two shark attacks

A woman has been bitten on the leg in a shark attack off Whitsunday Island

A woman has been bitten on the leg in a shark attack off Whitsunday Island

Canberra, Sep 20 (IANS) An Australian woman was in a critical condition on Thursday after being attacked by a shark. Experts say shark attacks are increasing as water sports become more popular and bait fish move closer to shore, but fatalities remain rare.

RACQ CQ Rescue crewman Ben McCauley was then winched into the water, swam to the dinghy and climbed on board.The patient was then winched into the helicopter and treated by the critical care paramedic.

Queensland Ambulance Services Mackay operations manager Tracey Eastwick said there was nothing to suggest at this stage that the girl would lose a limb.

It is understood the 12-year-old was on a boat at Cid Harbour with her father and sister.

RACQ CQ Rescue pilot Kevin Berry said the woman was lucky to be alive considering how much longer it would have taken for her to get help if they had not been in the area.

Mr Macdonald contacted the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter on the radio to co-ordinate what needed to be done for her to be picked up from the boat.

She had "altered levels of consciousness and significant amount of pain", Ms Eastwick said.

"Fortunately there was a doctor on scene who was an emergency department doctor so fortunately he was able to assist in immediate treatment and to stabilise the serious haemorrhage that she had", she said.

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"By all accounts it was very serious and without the rescue helicopter she probably would have died, but those people did save her life by stopping the haemorrhaging".

With their fuel tank just ten minutes short of what was needed to reach Mackay, the RACQ CQ Rescue diverted to Prosperine to refuel.

Unprovoked shark attacks have killed one person and injured 14 others in Australia this year, according to the Australian Shark Attack File.

"We don't normally go out and search for any sharks that may have been involved in a shark attack but due to the nature of these multiple attacks, Fisheries Queensland is going to deploy three drum lines in a bid to try and catch some of the sharks in that area".

The measures aim to reduce the overall number of sharks in the area, but do not provide an impenetrable barrier between swimmers and marine life.

EARLIER: A CHILD has been bitten by a shark in the Whitsundays in the same location a shark attacked a woman yesterday afternoon.

There has not been a fatal shark attack in the Sunshine State since 2014 when Daniel Smith, 18, was attacked by a tiger shark at Rudder Reef near Cape Tribulation.

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