Woman in serious condition after shark attack off Whitsunday Island

Leroy Wright
September 21, 2018

"It didn't surprise me, because she is such a fighter, when she was being taken off the rescue helicopter and taken into hospital she was telling them what she was allergic too and still able to give directions", Mr Doherty told AAP.

Ms Barwick, a mother of two, would likely have bled to death without the quick-thinking actions of people in nearby boats.

It is the second serious shark attack in Queensland's Whitsunday Islands within 24 hours.

"It is horrific ... it is quite confronting to have two similar incidents in the space of 24 hours", she said.

Queensland Ambulance also confirmed the young girl, who was in a critical condition, was being transported to nearby Mackay Hospital by helicopter.

The Queensland government has said three drum lines will be installed in the Cid Harbour area on Friday to prevent further attacks.

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A rescue helicopter that scrambled to pick her up was just 15 minutes away from the scene due to an earlier operation.

RACQ CQ rescue crewman Ben McCauley said the shark had taken a "huge chunk" from the inside of Mrs Barwick's leg.

Mrs Barwick was pulled from the water, transferred to a yacht and moved to a dinghy to be winched up by a rescue helicopter dispatched from the coastal town of Proserpine. "She's very lucky to be alive".

Justine was on leave with her husband and friends enjoying time on their family yacht as part of an annual trip to the Whitsundays.

"Justine is a fighter: a fit, resilient woman who is an outstanding leader in the aged and disability care sectors".

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