Girl critical after 2nd shark attack on same Australian isle

Arturo Kim
September 21, 2018

A rescue helicopter flew the youngster from Cid harbour in the Whitsunday Islands region on Thursday afternoon after she received "a significant leg injury".

An RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter spokeswoman earlier said the people the woman was with displayed heroism before the rescue crew arrived.

She was airlifted to hospital after being bitten on the leg while swimming in the same Whitsundays area in northeastern Australia, first responders said.

Authorities said the extent of the woman's injuries mean she is lucky to be alive, mostly thanks to an emergency room doctor who happened to be on a nearby boat, and the rapid assistance of a medical response helicopter which was also nearby.

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.

"For us, as a community of paramedics, it is quite confronting as well to have two similar incidents in the space of less than 24 hours".

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On Friday, a Queensland Shark Control Program contractor will deploy three shark control drumlines - a system of buoys "designed to remove larger, unsafe sharks from an area", according to the Fisheries spokesman. Witnesses saw a 3m great white nearby.

An avid snorkeller, Justine Barwick was swimming near her family yacht during her annual holiday at Queensland's picturesque Whitsundays, a warm change from her Tasmanian home town of Burnie.

"I want these drum lines in place as soon as possible".

"Fisheries is working with other agencies including the police and marine parks". The Queensland Government's shark control program operates at 85 of the state's most popular beaches.

Mr Furner urged swimmers to stay out of the water in the vicinity of Cid Harbour and Sawmill Bay near Whitsunday Island.

The mother of two is in a critical condition in the same Mackay Base Hospital following overnight surgery. "That's why these events are so shocking".

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