Shark kills paddle boarder off the north-east coast of Australia

Leroy Wright
November 9, 2018

A 33-year-old doctor was killed by a shark in Australia's Great Barrier Reef - becoming the third person killed by the marine predators in the tourist hotspot in just six weeks, according to reports.

The Whitsunday Water Police will be conducting patrols of Cid Harbour today along with vessels from other Queensland and Commonwealth Government agencies.

An emergency helicopter crew resuscitated the man twice before he was flown to Mackay Base Hospital in a critical condition.

"Shortly hereafter he was victim of the attack by the shark", Insp O'Connell said.

The last shark attack in the Whitsunday Islands before the latest spate occurred on February 13, 2010, off Dent Island where 60-year-old tourist Patricia Trumbull survived lacerations to her buttocks and major blood loss.

"But his injuries and the reaction to those injuries were so severe that, unfortunately, he has not survived, (not) long after his arrival at Mackay Base Hospital".

It comes after Whitsundays MP Jason Costigan (LNP) called for drumlines to be immediately and permanently installed in Cid Harbour. "It's also a case of we don't know what species has been involved, or whether people have been fishing in the area".

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"They all have different feeding strategies, however all of those sharks like and enjoy to take things on the surface because when it attacks it prey has now here to go whereas when it's in the water it has 360 degrees to escape".

The attack came after Tasmanian mother-of-two, Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area a day earlier.

Drum lines were deployed and several large sharks were caught.

"We are talking about a very vast area and certainly I would hate that the message got out that it was safe to swim in the Whitsundays when we can't guarantee that safety", Ms Jones said.

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said in the statement that the harbor is a popular site to moor boats and the disposal of food scraps could attract sharks.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the government was committed to working with industry representatives and the local community. She lost a lot of blood, and a doctor on a nearby boat is credited with saving her life, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Monday.

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