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Calls For Drumlines Following Third Whitsundays Shark Attack

A man who was attacked by a shark in Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays has died in hospital.

The 33-year-old Victorian man had been on a charter boat with friends on Monday and had gone paddle boarding and then swimming, police said, before he was bitten around 5.30pm.

The man was airlifted to Mackay Hospital in a critical condition with bites to his left thigh, right calf and left wrist, an RACQ CQ Rescue spokeswoman told AAP.

He died of his injuries, police confirmed early on Tuesday.

After the attack the man was pulled aboard a nearby boat.


He was treated by a paramedic from Hamilton Island, two off-duty doctors and an emergency department nurse from nearby boats before the arrival of the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter.

Rescue crewman Ben McCauley described the man's injuries as "absolutely horrific", adding: "He'd suffered very serious bites, significant blood loss as well as cardiac arrest ... "

The critically ill man was resuscitated twice in less than 45 minutes, Mr McCauley said, before he could be transferred by tender back to shore and flown to hospital.

The attack on Monday evening happened in the same waters where two tourists were mauled in separate attacks within 24 hours in September.

Tasmanian mother of two Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area on September 19 and underwent 18 hours of surgery.

Melbourne girl Hannah Papps, 12, received a life-threatening bite to her right leg while swimming in shallow water in Cid Harbour the following day.

She lost her leg in the attack. Queensland Shark Control Program manager Jeff Krause, speaking after the incidents involving Ms Barwick and Ms Papps, described the attacks as “unprecedented”.

They prompted the Government to install drumlines in Cid Harbour to reduce the number of dangerous sharks in the area.

Six tiger sharks were caught on the drumlines.

“While shark control equipment does not provide an impenetrable barrier between swimmers and sharks, it is effective in reducing the overall number of sharks in the area, making it a safer place to swim,” Mr Krause said at the time.


Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan last night called for drumlines to be permanently set in popular spots in the Whitsundays.

“We need drumlines and nets off our popular swimming beaches in the Whitsundays like most other populated centres up and down the Queensland coast,” he said.

“It’s about time we had the same levels of protections as other places.”


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